Toxic Inhalations Overview
What are toxic inhalations?
A person with a toxic inhalation has inhaled smoke or fumes, which damage the lungs or poison the body. Direct damage to the lungs by an inhaled chemical is called chemical pneumonia. Other toxic inhalations, such as carbon monoxide poisoning, cause damage after the toxic material is absorbed by the lung and enters the bloodstream. Carbon monoxide interferes with the body's ability to use oxygen when it enters the tissues from the bloodstream.
What are the symptoms of toxic inhalations?
Symptoms of toxic inhalations include difficulty breathing, wheezing, cough, headache, and vomiting. Additional symptoms of toxic inhalations may include chest pain, coughing blood, fever, cyanosis, fainting, confusion and seizure.
How does the doctor treat toxic inhalations?
The treatment for a toxic inhalation depends on the underlying cause. Treatment for a toxic inhalation may include oxygen therapy, respiratory therapy, intravenous fluids, and inhaled bronchodilator medications. Additional treatment for severe toxic inhalations includes hyperbaric therapy or mechanical ventilation, in order to support breathing.
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