Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Story Time!

Today at work I had a little accident.

I'm okay, don't worry!

Here's what happened:

In the fume hood at work we have these glass bottles with plastic pumps on the top that we use to dispense measured portions of acid. The one I keep concentrated nitric acid in was empty, and pretty filthy, so I (with gloves on) brought it over to the sink to rinse it off. I turned on the water, and started to rinse it, and the long plastic tube part of the pump-the part that goes to the bottom of the bottle-flipped upward and sprayed my face, neck, and arms with acid.

I immediately went into OH SHIT PANIC mode and started flushing myself with water (good thing the water was already running!). I flushed for a good five minutes before my shirt was soaking wet and so was my hair. At that point I let my boss know what happened, then went downstairs to the bathroom to keep flushing it with water. I flushed for another ten minutes or so, then went to report the accident to the production manager. We started filling out paperwork, and I was totally fine with keeping an eye on it and going about my day, but we all ended up deciding that I ought to go to WorkMed and make sure it was going to be okay.

So I went in and went straight to the front desk, and immediately said "I've gotten acid on my skin, you need to take me back NOW!" and they were like "YEAH." So we went in the back and immediately I had to disrobe and get into their therapy shower and two nurses hosed me down for another fifteen minutes. I would have complained about the water being freezing cold, but it actually felt really good on the burns!

After that I got changed into a hospital gown (so sexy) and they started putting antibiotic ointment all over the burns and started applying ice packs over that. Next I got a tetanus shot! Hooray! The I had to take a drug test, presumably to prove that I didn't get hurt while doing something stupid because I was high. I hen got some Advil for the swelling and I have to go back tomorrow to get checked on.

I took some pictures, but it's been a while and they don't look half so bad as when it first happened.

So here is the left side of my face, and it isn't really apparent in the picture, but the acid got all over this side of my face and chin (you can see that it's red all over). I also got a few bits on my forehead and next to my eye (but not IN my eye, thank goodness).


This one shows how swollen my lip is. It was the first place to start blistering and it still hurts even now.


The worst of it is on my neck.


I know it doesn't look very bad in the pictures, but you should see it in person. I just couldn't capture the color very well.

So that was my acid adventure.

I was really mad at myself, but I was wearing my safety equipment and I wasn't doing anything stupid, and frankly, one chemistry-related accident in eight years of chemistry-ing is a pretty damn good track record.

This did make me incredibly grateful that I was wearing my safety equipment, though, because my eyes and my hands are fine. NO KNITTING IMPAIRMENT. I freaking win.

2 comments:

Knight Rider said...

Scared the living crap out of me by the way.

Kim said...

WHAT! That's crazy. I'm glad nothing that serious came out of it. But acid all over? That is scary.