Inhalational Injury

First Things First (assess & treat for the following)

  • Is the patient hypoxemic?
    • High-flow humidified oxygen for all patients
    • Oximetry may be artificially elevated.
  • Is there evidence of airway injury?
    • May not be apparent immediately, as long as 24-48 hrs
    • Look for facial burns, singed nasal hair, cough, carbonaceous sputum.
    • Examine for evidence of upper airway edema, hoarseness, stridor, or wheezing.
  • Does patient require emergent intubation?
    • Better to secure airway early!
    • Facial or neck burns may become constrictive.
  • Does patient have evidence of shock?
    • Hypovolemia is common in burn injuries

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Last updated: April 28, 2010