Medical Treatment: Decision Tree for Medical Professionals

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) Phosgene Medical Task Group consisting of physicians from industry with input from academia and public health agencies developed these guidelines to help better assess, support, and treat workers who may be exposed to phosgene.

Key Points:

  • Medical evaluation and treatment is dependent on type and level of exposure.
  • Health effects from exposure can include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • AOHC Phosgene EMR Poster
    • Subjective Effects – Such as headache, nausea and anxiety; believed to be due to the person experiencing the event and not a direct effect of the chemical. Treatment generally symptomatic.

    • Irritant Effects – Dictated by concentration of exposure, measured in ppm. May include such symptoms as irritation of the mucous membranes and upper airway; generally present immediately after the exposure and usually resolve relatively quickly. Treatment generally symptomatic.

    • Pulmonary Effects – Dictated by exposure level, measured in ppm-min. May include symptoms consistent with pulmonary edema. These symptoms are latent (delayed), starting hours after exposure and are related primarily to the exposure dose.
  • Exposure levels:
    • Less than 50 ppm-min-no clinical pulmonary effects expected
    • 50-150 ppm-min-Pulmonary edema unlikely
    • 150 ppm-min or > -Pulmonary edema probable
    • 300 ppm-min or > -Life threatening edema expected

    *If exposure unknown, consider as a significant exposure (>150 ppm-min) and evaluate and treat accordingly.      
  • Prolonged respiratory effects are not expected after phosgene exposures less than 150 ppm-min

» Phosgene - Information on Options for First Aid and Medical Treatment Poster


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