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Hydrogen sulfide poisoning: review of 5 years' experience.

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  • Research Article
  • Medicine


The workforce of Alberta, a province rich in fossil fuel, faces an increasing risk of exposure to hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Basic knowledge of the population exposed during the years 1969 to 1973 inclusive was accumulated to identify the immediate medical and management problems. Data were recorded from three sources of records: the Workers' Compensation Board of Alberta, the Alberta Hospital Services Commission and the provincial coroner's office. There were 221 cases of exposure to H2S. The overall mortality was 6%; 5% of victims were dead on arrival at hospital. Admission to hospital was required for 65% of the victims arriving at a hospital emergency room (78% of the 221). Acute problems were coma, dysequilibrium and respiratory insufficiency with pulmonary edema. Increased attention to cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the exposure site and during transportation to hospital is necessary to reduce the mortality from H2S exposure. No long-term adverse effects were apparent in the survivors.

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