Myocardial Toxins

Certain solvents such as halogenated hydrocarbons, Freons, and aromatic hydrocarbons may sensitize the myocardium to the dysrhythmic effect of catecholamines. Myocardial irritability may persist for several hours following exposure. Avoidance of physical activity or sympathomimetic drugs, other than selective b 2 agonists, for the treatment of bronchospasm is warranted. Furthermore, dc countershock cannot be administered to patients soaked with flammable chemicals until decontamination has been carried out due to fire and explosion risk. Hydrofluoric acid exposures may result in cardiac dysrhythmias as a result of hypocalcemia, hypomagnesemia, or hyperkalemia. In this setting, the administration of intravenous calcium may be lifesaving.

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