Diphoterine for alkali chemical splashes to the skin at alumina refineries
Background Diphoterine is a commercially available amphoteric, hypertonic, chelating solution used to decontaminate and irrigate chemical splashes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the implementation of Diphoterine at three alumina refineries. This is the largest case series reported to date.
Methods One hundred eighty cases of alkali splashes to the skin were evaluated clinically. Two groups were compared; those who had applied Diphoterine first and those who had applied water first.
Results There were no signs of chemical burn in 52.9% of the group who applied Diphoterine first compared with 21.4% of the group who applied water first. Only 7.9% of the group who applied Diphoterine first had blisters or more severe signs compared with 23.8% of the group who applied water first. The differences were statistically significant (P < 0.001). After implementation of Diphoterine the ‘‘first aid’’ injury rate for chemical burns fell 24.7% (95% CI 0.5–43.0%).
Conclusions Applying Diphoterine first was associated with significantly better outcomes following alkali skin splashes than applying water first.