Four soldiers who inhaled vapors of bleach in an unventilated sealed room were rushed Monday to the emergency room in Safed's Ziv Hospital for treatment. Two more were treated at the medical clinic on their base.
The soldiers had been sleeping, unaware that one of their comrades has spilled bleach on the floor of the room. The soldiers said later that this was done apparently as a prank and that he didn't know it was dangerous. Emergency room director Dr. Amar Hussein said the soldiers were received in moderate condition with respiratory distress and burning sensations in their eyes and throats.
They were also examined by an ophthalmologist and ear-nose-and-throat doctor to make sure they did not suffer internal burns. In the event of exposure to a toxic chemical substance, said Hussein, it is important to bring the product along to the emergency room so doctors can decide faster how to treat the symptoms.
Exposure to bleach and similar chemicals causes severe pain in the eyes and difficulty opening the eyelids. Wash the eyes with a lot of water while moving the eyeballs in all four directions. When using chemical cleaners, always air out the room, the doctor advised. As the throat can swell in reaction to the chemical and even block the airway completely, it is urgent to bring the victim to the emergency room, he added.