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J Trauma. 1990 Dec;30(12 Suppl):S63-8.

Evaluation and management of patients with inhalation injury.

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U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-5012.


Inhalation injury, present in approximately one third of burned patients treated at burn centers, increases mortality by a maximum of 20% in relation to age and extent of burn. The development of animal models of inhalation injury has made possible the identification of both the airway and vascular responses evoked by smoke inhalation. Inflammatory occlusion of terminal bronchioles and necrosis of the endobronchial mucosa render the airway and pulmonary parenchyma susceptible to infection and the resulting pneumonitis further increases mortality. Early diagnosis, best achieved by endoscopic bronchoscopy and 133xeon ventilation perfusion scan, permits timely application of high-frequency ventilation that appears to reduce the incidence of pneumonia and to decrease mortality. Pharmacologic agents give promise of ameliorating the deleterious changes of the vasculature. The recent advances in understanding inhalation injury have identified the research needed to further improve patient salvage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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