What is the danger of smoke inhalation?
Smoke inhalation is when you breathe in harmful smoke from burning materials and gases. This smoke may contain harmful chemicals. When you inhale, your lungs and airway may become irritated, swollen, and blocked. The damaged airway and lungs can hinder oxygen from getting into your blood, and respiratory problems can develop.
What are the signs and symptoms of smoke inhalation?
The signs and symptoms of smoke inhalation depend on the source and how long you were exposed to the smoke:
· Cough and hoarseness
· Chest pain or coughing up blood
· Trouble breathing, such as shortness of breath and noisy breathing
· Headache, abdominal pain, and nausea
· Eye irritation or vision problems
· Soot in your nose or mouth
How is smoke inhalation diagnosed?
Caregivers will ask you about the source of the smoke that you inhaled. They will also ask about the amount of time that you were exposed.
What are the risks of smoke inhalation?
Smoke inhalation is a serious injury, and treatment is needed as soon as possible. If it is not treated early, the smoke may damage your lungs and cause serious breathing problems. This may affect your heart and could be life-threatening. Even with treatment, you could develop permanent lung damage.
When should I contact my caregiver?
Contact your caregiver if:
· You have a fever or serious breathing problems.
· You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
When should you seek immediate care?
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
· You cough up or vomit blood.
· You have a fast heartbeat and chest pain.
· You have increased shortness of breath.
· You have weakness.
· You are wheezing.
Article From Dr. Kenneth Smith, Inter Valley Health Plan