gasoline poisoning

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gasoline poisoning

The reaction of the body to ingested or inhaled gasoline.


The most hazardous symptom of gasoline exposure is a potentially fatal inflammation of the lungs, caused by aspiration of even small quantities of distilled petroleum. Symptoms of oral ingestion may also include dizziness, disorientation, seizures, and other neurological difficulties; gastric irritation and vomiting; rashes; and cardiac rhythm disturbances.

Patient care

The patient should be observed for at least 6 hours. If no evidence of respiratory distress or dysfunction is found, and if a chest x-ray exam shows no signs of chemical pneumonitis, the patient may be safely discharged home.

Patients with evidence of chemical pneumonitis should be treated with oxygen and monitored in a hospital. Patients in full respiratory failure will require mechanical ventilation. Those who have deliberately ingested gasoline may benefit from supportive psychotherapy or psychiatric referral.

See also: poisoning
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