Today I was in a biology lab taking apart a massive (refrigerator-sized) apparatus. I'm pretty sure the apparatus was built and used (for about 30 years) for running parallel executions of the Kjeldahl method
on lake water samples. It's also possible that it was for determining mercury content. The setup seemed to be mainly for distillation, but there was a lot going on and nobody ran me through how the procedure was once done. There was what appeared to be a condensation chamber with a long glass discharge tube. I got a small puncture wound on the bottom of my forearm from the broken end of this tube, which bled for a bit. I cleaned this with alcohol and covered it with a band-aid, but a few hours afterwards the wound looks questionable. It's developed a red swollen area about the size of a quarter, and a red line extending about an inch straight away from the puncture site, suggesting an irritating substance in the vein. The red line looks like a scratch, but I didn't scratch myself and it seems to have grown. So far (13 hours later) there's no pus.
It hasn't been used in at least a year, but there were decades of chemical buildup and residue on everything. Based on the Wikipedia article on the Kjeldahl method, it looks like the chemicals that might have been in the tube are sodium hydroxide, ammonia, boric acid, and possibly mercury oxide or copper sulfate, as well as of course the trouble substances mentioned above. There were asbestos and lead pipes involved, with masses of corroded lead built up on other areas of the apparatus. There was also caked yellow residue that smelled like sulfur, and quite a bit of rust.
Does anyone have any relevant insights? Which of these things do you think would be present and would, in a small quantity, inflame a puncture wound in this way? What's the right medical treatment or the odds of it resolving itself? Will I lose my hand?
Also: I don't mind lots of responses, but this is a question referring to some pretty specific knowledge, so if you're taking a shot in the dark just let me know.