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Full-Thickness Chemical Burn From Trifluoroacetic Acid

A Case Report and Review of the Literature

Rochlin, Danielle H., MD*; Rajasingh, Charlotte M., BA; Karanas, Yvonne L., MD; Davis, Drew J., MD

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000001579
Burn Surgery and Research

Trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) burns are an ill-defined entity due to a lack of reported sizable burns from this chemical. In this case report of the largest reported burn from TFA, we demonstrate that TFA causes extensive, progressive full-thickness tissue injury that may initially appear superficial. Trifluoroacetic acid does not seem to involve the systemic toxicities that result from hydrofluoric acid burns, and there is no role for calcium gluconate in acute management based on this case. Operative intervention should be staged because wound beds may initially seem healthy yet demonstrate continued necrosis.

From the *Division of Plastic Surgery,

Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA; and

Regional Burn Center, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, San Jose, CA.

Received April 30, 2018, and accepted for publication, after revision June 7, 2018.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared. No funding was received for this work.

Selected for 2018 American Burn Association Annual Meeting Poster Presentation.

Reprints: Yvonne L. Karanas, MD, Regional Burn Center, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, 751 South Bascom Ave, San Jose, CA 95128. E-mail:

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