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J Burn Care Res. 2012 Jul-Aug;33(4):e216-21. doi: 10.1097/BCR.0b013e318254d1c8.

Complications of chlorine inhalation in a pediatric chemical burn patient: a case report.

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Wound Healing Research Group, Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery,University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


The majority of burn injuries in the pediatric population occur at home, and a significant proportion are the result of exposure to household cleaning products. A common injury-causing agent is bleach, which has the potential to release chlorine gas, a potent respiratory irritant that leads to the added risk of inhalation injury. The survival of pediatric patients with chemical burns is extremely high, and the 3 strongest predictors of mortality are large burn size, age <48 months, and the presence of inhalation injury. The authors present a rare case of a pediatric fatality from a chemical bleach burn that resulted in acute respiratory distress syndrome as well as hemodynamic and pulmonary instability that required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The authors critically appraised the management of this patient to determine the possible effect certain events had on the unexpected and poor outcome of this patient, including fluid resuscitation, the effect of the chemical inhalation injury, sedation, and the need for invasive extracorporeal membrane oxygenation life support.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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