Author: John Winkler, MD
- Singed nasal hairs, soot around mouth, hoarse voice, drooling, and burns to head/face are signs suggestive of inhalation injury.
- Early intubation is critical for these patients as the airway changes rapidly.
- With inhalation injuries, the upper airway is burned while the lower airway is damaged by inhaled chemicals in the soot and can cause ARDS.
- Carbon monoxide (CO) and cyanide (CN) poisoning can occur with inhalation injuries.
- Treatment for CO poisoning is 100% oxygen and possible hyperbarics. Treatment for CN poisoning is cyanocobalamin.
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Woodson CL. Diagnosis and treatment of inhalation injury. In: Total Burn Care, 4 ed, Herndon DN (Ed), 2009.