Hydrogen sulfide exposure presents many frightening symptoms. Sometimes it’s too late for preventative measures and you must treat the immediate symptoms. When that happens, you must act fast. While treatment is best left to the professionals, there are a few early treatment options for hydrogen sulfide exposure.
Get to Fresh Air
The best thing you can do for someone suffering from hydrogen sulfide exposure is to move them to a well-ventilated place with fresh air. Removing them from the area stops any further poisoning and gives them a moment to breathe normally. It should be noted, however, that if a victim of hydrogen sulfide exposure is stumbling or collapses, it may be too dangerous to retrieve them without a self-contained breathing apparatus and a protective suit. When there’s that much gas in the area, you should leave rescue to trained professionals.
Call Emergency Services
Call emergency services as soon as everyone involved is out of immediate harm or if they are unretrievable due to high hydrogen sulfide concentration. When seconds count, the arrival of a HAZMAT team and an ambulance can mean life and death. If the gas has not been cut off, it will form an increasingly deadly haze that is both invisible and imperceptible to smell. A specialized team can enter the area with proper equipment and air tanks to manage the situation.
Hydrogen sulfide burns eyes, causing intense stinging, damage, and even blindness. After moving to a safe place, use a chemical shower to wash the victim’s eyes and body. They should carefully remove their clothes, as the fabric likely absorbed and retained some gas. If clothes stick to the body, they should be carefully and slowly cut away.
Once the victim is removed from the scene, poison control generally recommends nitrate treatment. Recommended treatment typically includes using the hydroxocobalamin or sodium nitrate from a cyanide antidote kit. It is important to note that this treatment is considered advanced first aid and should only be performed by someone trained to manage hydrogen sulfide exposure. If you work around hydrogen sulfide, a trained medic may have this in their first aid kit.
If you or someone you know has been exposed to hydrogen sulfide in the workplace due to negligent safety measures or OSHA violations, you may have a case. If you’d like one of our attorneys to evaluate your hydrogen sulfide exposure case, pleasesend us an email or give us a call at (701) 599-4337.