Which physical findings are characteristic of zinc oxide smoke inhalation?

Updated: Oct 15, 2021
  • Author: Keith A Lafferty, MD; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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As with other inhalation injuries, physical examination findings in zinc oxide exposure depend on the time of exposure, concentration of the gas, method of gas distribution, and underlying general health of the exposed individual. Physical examination findings may range from slight dyspnea and increased work of breathing to severe respiratory distress, convulsions, coma, or death. Hoarseness and cough are common findings. Retching, fever, tachycardia, hypoxia, and cyanosis may be present, as well as pulmonary wheezes and rales.

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