A Case of Fire-eater's Pneumonia in an Active-Duty Soldier

Matthew Aboudara, MD; Joon Yun, MD

In This Article


Fire-eater's pneumonia is an acute, intense hydrocarbon pneumonitis resulting from aspiration of volatile hydrocarbons such as kerosene, gasoline, or turpentine. Forty percent to 50% of cases are seen in children younger than 6 years old resulting from unintentional aspiration. The remaining cases are mostly occupational exposures, such as fire-eaters, petrochemical workers, painters, and hazardous waste workers.[1] While the long-term prognosis is uncertain, the vast majority of patients have resolution of their acute lung injury with supportive care only, avoiding the need for surgical lung reduction procedures. We describe a case of severe hydrocarbon pneumonitis as the result of aspiration of JP-8 jet fuel, a kerosene-based compound and the accompanying radiographic changes seen at presentation and following treatment.


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