Smoke Inhalation Symptoms and Treatment
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Smoke caused by a fire is an asphyxiant that takes away the atmosphere’s oxygen and replaces it with dangerous chemicals such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, and hydrogen cyanide. Fire smoke inhalation, and not body burns, causes approximately 50 to 80% of deaths related to fire disasters.
A person suffering from smoke inhalation symptoms typically requires immediate medical attention. Smoke inhalation treatment varies in accordance with the symptoms displayed by the victim.
Upon arrival at the hospital, the patient is most likely to receive supplemental oxygen via a tube or mask, or undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy if an excessive concentration of carbon monoxide is present in the blood stream. The patient may also receive various forms of medication to aid combat the symptoms.
Thereafter, a number of tests may be performed to assess the severity of the case. Typical tests include a chest x-ray for victims experiencing coughing and breathing difficulties, blood tests to determine whether or not the amount of red cells in the blood stream is adequate, and other examinations to detect possible signs of low blood pressure and changes in the pH level.