Delayed Effects of Hydrofluoric Acid Burn
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Felsovalyi, Flora; Jap, Bennett; Robilotto, Anthony; Tong, Gary
Hydrofluoric acid burn is a common work related injury. After initial contact, hydrofluoric acid diffuses through the skin where it eventually reaches the bone. Once in contact, dissociated F- ions react with the calcium in the bone forming calcium difluoride. Because of this mechanism, exposures often go undetected until the internal damage is extensive and patients experience excruciating pain. Therefore, it is the purpose of our project, using finite element analysis, to model both the diffusion of HF through the skin and fat as well its reaction with calcium once it reaches the bone. We will attempt to determine the pattern of HF diffusion within the skin, fat, and bone layers; and most importantly, the time it takes for HF to reach the bone where irreversible damage occurs. We will also aim at determining the exact extent of the damage to the bone as a function of time. Finally, in our analysis we will vary the concentration of HF, its drop size, and the diffusivity of the dermal layers, and examine the effects on our results.