Friday, February 22, 2019

Safety warning: injection of DCM

DCM injected into finger, after two hours (credit: Seb Vidal)
Via Twitter, the rather concerning photo at right from French chemist (Sebastien Vidal, who was not
the person affected). Here is the text, via his tweets (clarified for grammar):
Which solvent could have caused such injury after poking one's finger with a syringe and injecting 1-2 drops of solvent? 15 minutes and 2 hrs pictures (CJ's note: 2 hour picture shown) 
So this is dichloromethane. 
It got purple immediately then necrosis. Heat in the finger and nerve affected. Got surgery within 2 hr in ER. Self skin graft from his arm. 3 month recover.
Quite ok now. That was a huge shock for me. 
This is really to alert everyone about simply injecting DCM in a flask which turned in almost losing a finger if surgery was done too late. 
Surgeon had to remove dead flesh and self-graft was needed to reconstruct. Nerve was 90% damaged and regeneration was slow but nearly 70% ok now after 8 months. Painkillers did not help after 10 days and lots of rough night for him.
Well, I consider myself warned. Be careful out there. 

6 comments:

  1. Wow, that's a lot worse than I would have imagined. I think this will be showing up at some safety meetings.

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  2. it's exactly as bad as I would have imagined. Organic solvent in a fully organic medium? That's pretty much expected.

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  3. I must have stabbed myself at least a dozen times with a syringe loaded with CDCl3 (preparing NMR samples). Very pleased to report my finger never turned into a nightmare like this but on a few occasions I was left with a nasty purple bruise similar to photo 1.

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  4. CJ - Thanks for posting this. When it came across Twitter, I initially thought phenol/chloroform.

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  5. There are many puncture resistance gloves available. Chemical-resistant gloves fit easily over them. These should be considered standard lab safety whenever working with needles, cutting, or the use of glass on glass. They may not prevent all injuries, but they can reduce the risk.

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  6. At DuPont this "chemist" would be retrained how to use a syringe and puncture proof gloves. His Manager would be reassigned after the investigations. Then after worksmans compensation the litigation begins. After one year this company would have SOP's on how too use a syringe w a needle!!

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