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Tuberc Respir Dis (Seoul). 2013 Mar;74(3):120-3. doi: 10.4046/trd.2013.74.3.120. Epub 2013 Mar 29.

Acute respiratory distress due to methane inhalation.

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1
Department of Internal Medicine, Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.

Abstract

Inhalation of toxic gases can lead to pneumonitis. It has been known that methane gas intoxication causes loss of consciousness or asphyxia. There is, however, a paucity of information about acute pulmonary toxicity from methane gas inhalation. A 21-year-old man was presented with respiratory distress after an accidental exposure to methane gas for one minute. He came in with a drowsy mentality and hypoxemia. Mechanical ventilation was applied immediately. The patient's symptoms and chest radiographic findings were consistent with acute pneumonitis. He recovered spontaneously and was discharged after 5 days without other specific treatment. His pulmonary function test, 4 days after methane gas exposure, revealed a restrictive ventilatory defect. In conclusion, acute pulmonary injury can occur with a restrictive ventilator defect after a short exposure to methane gas. The lung injury was spontaneously resolved without any significant sequela.

KEYWORDS:

Methane; Respiratory Insufficiency; Smoke Inhalation Injury

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