The airway in inhalational injury: diagnosis and management.
Annals of burns and fire disasters.
It is estimated that 13.000 to 22.000 individuals suffer from inhalational burns each year in the United States alone. Despite these high numbers, inhalational burns remain a major challenge to otolaryngologists. In this paper, a review of literature is presented in order to provide otolaryngologists with a systematic approach to patients with inhalational burns to optimize treatment, cost, morbidity and, most importantly, mortality. For this purpose, a broad PubMed search was conducted. The available literature was found to highlight the importance of airway management in terms of the timing of intubation, method of intubation, trachea-esophageal (TE) fistula formation and TE rupture. It also emphasizes the importance of carbon monoxide intoxication and prompt correction. Drugs such as heparin sulfate, N-acetylcysteine and albuterol have been proven to help in the treatment of patients with inhalational burns, and more research is currently underway with the purpose of developing chelating drugs that scavenge the toxic substances in the smoke before they can damage the airway.
Sabri, A; Dabbous, H; Dowli, A; and Barazi, R, "The airway in inhalational injury: diagnosis and management." (2017). Maine Medical Center. 558.