Burns and elevated liver enzymes after accidental exposure

A 44 year old man sustained 25% total body surface burns (second degree partial thickness) to the legs, buttocks, back and patches of the chest and upper extremities following exposure to trichloroethylene fumes. Exposure had occurred as he was retrieving metal parts from a container of trichloroethylene. One of his colleagues, who was with him, died during the accident. The patient was treated with decontamination, fluid resuscitation and dressings. He was also electively ventilated. There were no signs of cardiotoxicity. His liver enzymes (transaminases and alkaline phosphatase) were raised and bilirubin was normal. The burns healed and his liver enzyme values returned to normal within 6 weeks (Balakrishnan et al., 1993).

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