Caustic cocktail


  • Accident/injury that can occur to rebreather divers
  • Occurs when absorbent material (commonly Sofnolime and Intersorb) used to scrub CO2 from breathing gas is inundated with water
  • Significant water + absorbent medium --> highly corrosive alkaline-based liquid containing calcium or sodium hydroxide
  • Inhaling this liquid--> caustic chemical burns to lungs

Clinical Features

  • Chemical burns to oropharyngeal mucosa/airways/lungs
  • Mouth/throat/chest pain
  • Cough, hemoptysis, SOB, respiratory distress
  • Laryngospasm, bronchospasm

Differential Diagnosis

Diving Emergencies



  • Supportive

See Also


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