Monday, December 13, 2010

White phosphorus burn

White phosphorus burn. Many lesions, with severe underlying destruction and necrosis in the right shoulder (A) and left leg (B). After 16 months of follow-up (C, D). Al Barqouni et al, 2010.

A Case Report  from Lancet medical journal details the horrific burns suffered by an 18-year-old male civilian during the Israeli attack on the occupied Palestinian territory during January 2009. The report is by Dr Loai Nabil Al Barqouni, Al Quds University, Abu-Deis, Jerusalem, oPt, and colleagues.

They conclude: "We cannot give an estimate of the number of such cases in our burns unit because it is in a war situation in which no formal recording was done; these burns are rarely encountered in practice and literature describing cases is limited. According to the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons it is prohibited to make civilians the object of attack by incendiary weapons."

1 Lisandro I. CBRNE—incendiary agents, white phosphorus. Aug 22, 2007. (accessed May 21, 2010).
2 Eldad A, Simon GA. The phosphorous burn—a preliminary comparative experimental study of various forms of treatment. Burns 1991; 17: 198–200.
3 Chou TD, Lee TW, Chen SL, et al. The management of white phosphorus burns. Burns 2001: 27: 492–97.
4 Davis KG. Acute management of white phosphorus burn. Mil Med 2002; 167: 83–84.

  • Read more in Lancet 

    • Photos and Source: 
    • References

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      Harbison RD. Phosphorus. In: Harbison RD. Hamilton and Hardy's Industrial Toxicology. 5th ed. Mosby Yearbook; 1998:194-7.

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      Pande TK, Pandey S. White phosphorus poisoning--explosive encounter. J Assoc Physicians India. Mar 2004;52:249-50. [Medline].

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      Summerlin WT, Walder AI, Moncrief JA. White phosphorus burns and massive hemolysis. J Trauma. May 1967;7(3):476-84. [Medline].

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