Cidex, which is also called Glutaraldehyde, is a strong disinfectant used to clean medical instruments. This colorless solution effectively destroys specific types of bacteria, fungi and viruses present on medical instruments. Cidex can also clean certain types of metal and plastic instruments but should not be used to disinfect heat-sensitive medical devices. Health professionals should take care when using Cidex as this strong disinfectant can cause a number of side effects.


Skin exposure to Cidex can result in temporary skin discoloration, explains medical professionals at Johns Hopkins Medical in Baltimore, Maryland. Prolonged or repeated skin contact with Cidex can cause significant irritation and may cause affected skin to appear red, dry, flaky or itchy. By utilizing appropriate protective clothing, such as gloves, while using this disinfectant, users can prevent most side effect. If this disinfectant comes in contact with the skin, the affected skin region users should immediately wash it with water.


Accidental eye exposure to Cidex can cause severe irritation and inflammation. If this occurs, the affected eye can appear red or bloodshot and may sting or burn. Medical workers should wear protective eye goggles while using this disinfectant to avoid these potentially hazardous side effects. If Cidex comes in contact with the eyes, users should flush the affected eye with large amounts of water for at least 15 minutes. Affected individuals should seek additional medical care immediately to ensure receipt of appropriate care.


If food products become contaminated by Cidex, individuals who consume these foods present a risk of sustaining irritation or chemical burns along the digestive tract. Oral Cidex exposure can lead to sensations of burning or pain inside the mouth, throat or stomach. Individuals who accidentally ingest this disinfectant should drink large amounts of water and seek immediate medical attention for further guidance and care. Self-induced vomiting following Cidex ingestion is not advised, warns Johns Hopkins Medical.


Airborne Cidex can cause respiratory tract side effects in individuals exposed to this disinfectant. Affected individuals may experience unusual sensations of stinging or burning within the nose or throat. Chest discomfort, coughing, difficulty breathing or wheezing may also occur. Individuals with pre-existing lung-related medical conditions, such as asthma or bronchitis, may present an increased risk of experiencing severe respiratory side effects upon exposure to airborne Cidex. It proves important to get affected individuals out of contaminated areas and into an outdoor area with fresh, clean air. Severe respiratory tract irritation can be controlled through oxygen administration and additional medical intervention.


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