Which clinical history findings are characteristic of smoke inhalation caused by red phosphorus?

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

Individuals with toxic inhalation usually have a history of exposure to the smoke either on the battlefield or in some other setting where phosphorus smokes are used. Complaints of eye, nose, and throat irritation are common. Severe exposure can be associated with an explosive, persistent cough. Most often, the cough and irritating symptoms resolve after the individual is removed from the exposure source. Contact with unoxidized phosphorus can produce painful, erythematous chemical burns to the skin.


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