Podcast 657: Caustic Ingestion


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Contributor: Aaron Lessen, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Acid and alkali ingestions have differing prognosis and immediate concerns
  • Immediate issues can include superficial irritation, severe burns, esophageal perforation, and even airway compromise from edem
  • Long term morbidity can include strictures
  • Supportive care is typically all that can be provided in the emergency department
  • Diagnostics may include imaging and endoscopy
  • For more severe ingestions without immediate issues,, patients may be monitored for up to 24 hours


Hoffman RS, Burns MM, Gosselin S. Ingestion of Caustic Substances. N Engl J Med. 2020 Apr 30;382(18):1739-1748. doi: 10.1056/NEJMra1810769. PMID: 32348645.

Summarized by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

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