Smoke inhalation occurs when a person breathes in hot air, smoke, or chemical fumes, which can cause burns or swelling in the air passages. Life-threatening carbon monoxide poisoning can occur with smoke inhalation.
The person may be restless, confused, or violent from the smoke and toxic gases inhaled. A changed mental state may be a direct effect of the toxins or may be caused by a lack of oxygen (hypoxia).
Urgent medical attention is needed for someone with symptoms of smoke inhalation. These symptoms include:
Last Revised: January 4, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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