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Question: Tox

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Parents bring in a 3 year old child that drank a few sips of household bleach which had been stored by grandparents in an empty coke bottle. 

Which of the following is true of household bleach toxicity?

pemsou5_wp • February 22, 2022

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  1. Kelly February 22, 2022 - 12:42 pm Reply

    D) Potentially severe toxicity can result when bleach is mixed with other household cleaners containing ammonia
    Swallowing a small amount of household bleach usually does not cause severe toxicity, although it can cause caustic injury to the oral cavity and GI tract. The pH of household bleach is ~11, which is < the threshold of 11.5-12.5 to cause esophageal injury. Endoscopy is rarely needed however, and it is recommended that stable patients swish some water in the mouth to rinse, and then can drink some water or milk. Exposure to the eyes is potentially more serious. Activated charcoal should not be given as it may induce vomiting, and vomiting should be avoided with caustic agents (causes a second exposure of the esophagus and oral cavity to the agent). Mixing bleach and ammonia-containing household cleaners (e.g. some toilet bowl, oven, and window/glass cleaners) should never be done as it can produce chloramine gas, causing airway damage, asphyxiation, and even death. Mixing bleach with acid products may also release chlorine gas, a combination that has resulted in death

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