Hydrocarbon Enema: An Unusual Cause of Chemical Burn

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Abstract

Hydrocarbons are a wide-ranging group of flammable chemicals and are often used in suicide attempts either by ingestion or as an accelerant in self-immolation. In this case study, we present a 37-year-old female who suffered 6% TBSA partial-thickness burns to her perineum and buttocks, which she claims resulted from diarrhea after ingesting a bottle of lighter fluid. The patient underwent decontamination and medical treatment for her burns and during her inpatient stay, it became apparent that the burns were more likely sustained from an intentional rectal administration of lighter fluid. To our knowledge, this is one of the first reported cases of hydrocarbon enema. We review hydrocarbon poisoning, including both ingestion and dermal exposure, and discuss medical management.

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