Advice and first aid in case of intense exposure to petroleum products.
If somebody has been intensely exposed to the most common petroleum products available in the market, read on so as to be in a position to offer him/her first aid:
First aid and medical advice
Concawe (“Conservation of clean air and water in Europe” - an organisation of oil companies operating in Europe which deals in environmental, health and safety issues) has recently published a news bulletin with instructions on first aid in connection with petroleum products.
The basic aim of the bulletin is to give concise information in cases of intense exposure to the most common petroleum products in the market.
This bulletin is particularly useful to those who give first aid and to the medical personnel which is entrusted with following such cases.Please read some useful general advice:
Attention: Due to the high volatility (quick vaporisation) and the extremely flammable nature of petrol, it is easy / possible for explosive mixtures of petrol vapours and air to be created at usual air temperatures. Before attempting to save the person affected, it is essential to isolate the area from all possible sources of ignition, bearing in mind that petrol vapours are heavier than air, can be diffused at some distance and therefore can encounter a source of ignition further down. Furthermore, before attempting to remove the clothing of the person affected, you should first wet his clothes with water. Also make sure that there is adequate ventilation and check if the atmosphere is safe for breathing before you enter an enclosed space.
Inhalation: If the symptoms come from exposure to petrol, take the person affected outside in the open air, taking the above-mentioned precautions and avoid aggravating possible injuries.
If the person affected:
Does not breathe, give him artificial resuscitation, preferring the mouth to mouth or the mouth to nose method.If he/she is unconscious, but breathes, place is him/her in a recovery position. If necessary give him/her a prolonged heart massage and seek doctor’s advice. Ingestion: If he/she has swallowed petrol, do not make him/her vomit, but immediately consult a doctor. Liquid in the lungs: If you suspect that the liquid has entered the patient’s lungs either directly, or as a result of vomiting, immediately consult a doctor.
Contact with the skin: Wet the affected person’s clothing with water, before trying to remove it.This is necessary so as to avoid a danger of sparks created from static electricity (FIRE HAZARD). Wash carefully with water and soap all parts of the body that came into contact with petrol. Contact with the eyes: Immediately wash your eyes with plenty of water.If the irritation persists, seek medical help without any delay.