How are smoke inhalation injuries treated?

Updated: Oct 15, 2021
  • Author: Keith A Lafferty, MD; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

When a patient presents with smoke inhalation, immediate assessment of the patient’s airway, breathing, and circulation should be done. [2] Provide IV access, cardiac monitoring, and supplemental oxygen in the setting of hypoxia. Some patients manifest bronchospasm and may benefit from the use of bronchodilators. When upper airway injury is suspected, elective intubation should be considered. Airway edema can progress over the next 24-48 hours and may make later intubation difficult if not impossible. Studies have shown that initial evaluation is not a good predictor of the airway obstruction that may ensue later secondary to rapidly progressing edema. [2]


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