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Chemical burns in a French submariner
  1. François-Xavier Bouis1,
  2. B Le Roy2 and
  3. M Agousty1
  1. 1 Submarine forces medical service, French Military Health Service, Brest, France
  2. 2 LASEM, French Military Health Service, Toulon, France
  1. Correspondence to Lt François-Xavier Bouis, BCRM Brest, CSS FSM, CC 900, French Military Health Service, 29 240 Brest Cedex 9, France; francois-xavier.bouis{at}

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A French submariner was finishing his shift of duty and did not report any particular event: neither physical trauma nor contact with caustic or radiological products. Faced with the presence of pruritus, he spotted two necrotic skins lesions on the left ankle (Figure 1). The black colouration faded slightly after cleaning. There was no inflammation around the edge. The injury was slightly depressed and discontinuously bordered by scales, indicating the presence of a large blister. Palpation revealed an anaesthesia of the lesions and the sensitive examination was otherwise normal. Excision and trimming revealed dermis damages. A dermal graft equivalent was performed (Figure 1).

Figure 1

Left ankle burn, on external (picture on the left) and internal (up right corner) side before and after graft skin (bottom right corner).

Because of the silent evolution of the burn, we suspected a chemical burn. In order to optimise the medical care and …

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  • Contributors F-XB wrote this article and manage the medical care. BLR helped us to find the responsible product and wrote the laboratory report about this case. MA provided the first medical care to the patient and gave us precious information about the environment.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.