What is the role of a CBC count in the workup of smoke inhalation injury?

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

A baseline CBC count is warranted, as certain types of smoke are associated with a significant drop in hemoglobin and hematocrit beginning at 1 week postexposure. [42] A baseline white blood cell count can also be used for comparison when concerns arise about infection.

Hemoconcentration resulting from fluid losses is common immediately following injury. Adequate restoration of intravascular volume results in a progressive fall in hematocrit. Severe anemia may require blood transfusion, particularly in the presence of significant hypoxia or hemodynamic instability.


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