Photographic fixative

Alternative names 
Photographic developers; Hydroquinones; Quinones; Sulfites

Definition
This poisoning is from an ingestion of photographic fixative.

Poisonous Ingredient

     
  • Hydroquinones  
  • Quinones  
  • Sulfites

Where Found

     
  • Various photographic fixative products

Symptoms

     
  • Respiratory       o Difficulty breathing (from inhalation or allergic reaction)  
  • Eyes, ears, nose, and throat       o Burning pain in the throat       o Blurred vision       o Burns to the eye  
  • Skin       o Rash  
  • Gastrointestinal       o Vomiting       o Abdominal pain       o Diarrhea (watery, bloody)  
  • Heart and blood vessels       o Low blood pressure  
  • Nervous system       o Stupor       o Coma

Home Treatment

For ingestion or inhalation of these products, seek emergency medical care immediately. Standard procedure is to dilute with milk or water unless the patient is unconscious or experiencing convulsions. Contact Poison Control for further guidance.

Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:

     
  • The patient’s age, weight, and condition  
  • Name of product (as well as the ingredients and strength, if known)  
  • The time it was swallowed  
  • The amount swallowed

Poison Control, or a local emergency number
They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital. See Poison Control centers for telephone numbers and addresses. Take the container with you to the emergency room.

What to expect at the emergency room

Some or all of the following procedures may be performed:

     
  • Treat the allergic reaction with diphenhydramine and prednisone.  
  • For swallowed poison:       o Placement of a tube down the nose and into the stomach (a nasogastric tube, or an NG tube) to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage).       o Activated charcoal administration.       o Endoscopy - the placement of a camera down the throat to see the extent of burns to the esophagus and the stomach.       o Give IV fluids.       o Admission to the hospital.       o Give an antidote.       o Treat the symptoms.  
  • For skin exposure:       o Irrigation (washing of the skin), perhaps every few hours for several days.       o Skin debridment (surgical removal of burned skin).       o Admission or transfer to a hospital that specializes in burn care.

Expectations (prognosis)

With any toxic ingestion or exposure, recovery and prognosis depend on the extent of the exposure and time to treatment. Ingestion of these products can have severe effects on many bodily systems. Immediate medical treatment increases the likelihood of full recovery.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 5, 2012
by Potos A. Aagen, M.D.

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All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.