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July 26, 1985

Caustic Burns From Contact With Wet Cement

Author Affiliations

From the Burn Center, Nassau County Medical Center, East Meadow, NY; and the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group, Mineola, NY.

JAMA. 1985;254(4):528-529. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360040082030

Cement is a widely used mixture in construction. A corrosive alkali, calcium hydroxide, is liberated as water is added to the lime present in the cement mixture. Skin contact for prolonged periods produces deep chemical burns with thick eschar formation. Five cases of chemical burns to the lower extremities following contact with the cement mixture are presented. When full-thickness burns were present, long periods of hospitalization were necessary for eschar separation prior to skin grafting. Early excision of full-thickness caustic burns with immediate skin grafting diminished the length of hospitalization and returned the patient to work sooner.

(JAMA 1985;254:528-529)