inhalation injury

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Related to inhalation injury: Smoke inhalation injury

in·ha·la·tion in·ju·ry

(in'hă-lā'shŭn in'jŭr-ē)
Trauma to the throat, lungs, and associated areas caused by fire, exposure to toxins, or lethal gases.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

inhalation injury

Injury to the oropharynx, nasopharynx, trachea, bronchi, or lungs from exposure to smoke or heated gas. This injury is a potentially life-threatening complication of exposure to smoke and fire and is often present in those who have suffered facial burns; firefighters are esp. at risk. Early complications of inhalation injury include bronchospasm, airway edema, airway obstruction, and respiratory failure. Late complications include hospital-acquired pneumonias and other respiratory illnesses. Patients suspected of inhalation injury should be promptly and repeatedly assessed to make certain they have an open airway. Emergent tracheal intubation is used to prevent respiratory failure. See: carbon monoxide


Patients who have suffered smoke inhalation injury may complain of dyspnea, cough, and black sputum. Stridor may be present if the upper airway is narrowed as a result of inflammation. Confusion may occur if carbon monoxide poisoning is also present.

Synonym: smoke inhalation injury
See also: injury
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
Failure to clear casts and secretions following inhalation injury can be dangerous: report of a case.
Although only 3.3% of over 1 200 patients had assault burns, they were associated with a higher frequency of inhalation injury, a larger size of third-degree burns and a longer intubation period, indicating a more severe clinical course than accidental burns.
In our study, 16 burn patients without NI received prophylactic antimicrobial agents because of poor immunostatus and inhalation injury. Antimicrobial usage in our BCU could be further reduced if only prophylaxis was given to patients with poor immunostatus and an open burn wound that did not close within a few days.
* inhalation injury with/or face, neck and chest wounds
The diagnosis of smoke inhalation injury is based on clinical findings such as singed nasal hairs, intraoral soot, and signs of respiratory distress, including stridor, hoarseness, drooling, and dysphagia.
Patient description Peak Patient # Age Sex Diagnosis IAP mmHg 1 14 y/o M 60% TBSA burn and inhalation injury, ARDS 39 2 6 w/o M GI obstruction with dysmotility Septic shock, MSOF 17 3 2 m/o M Kwashiorkor, zinc deficiency Septic Shock 27 4 5 m/o F BPD; NEC, Septic Shock 20 5 2 y/o M Neuroblastoma s/p nephrectomy.
Presenting with symptoms of dyspnea and exhibiting carbonaceous material in his nares and mouth, the patient was intubated shortly after arrival for concern of inhalation injury and was placed on a ventilator.
On arrival at the hospital on October 14, 1992, the child was in "critical condition" from an inhalation injury and third degree burns.
From an inhalation injury, he suffered pneumonia, a collapsed lung, and adult respiratory distress syndrome.
The PMCs shown in this example are PMC 0508, Burn: Smoke Inhalation with Inhalation Injury, and PMC 0509, Burn: Smoke Inhalation without Inhalation Injury.
They cover pathophysiology; evaluation, resuscitation, and treatment; wound care, use of antibiotics, and control of burn wound sepsis; nutrition; inhalation injury; general (nonburn) inpatient wound care; toxic epidermal necrolysis syndrome and Stevens-Johnson syndrome; chemical burns; and pediatric burn management.
Survival is greatly dependent on adequate therapeutic measures, including resuscitation, infection control, early wound closure, management of inhalation injury, adequate nutrition, pain control and acute rehabilitation.