Which physical findings suggest cardiovascular injury following smoke inhalation?

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

Complex cardiovascular changes associated with surface burns may coexist with inhalation injury. Heart rate, capillary refill, warmth of unburned extremities, and blood pressure should be promptly evaluated at presentation and at frequent regular intervals during the initial stabilization.

Pay careful attention to narrowed pulse pressure because this may indicate inadequate volume resuscitation. Hypotension is invariably a late finding of volume loss.


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