Smoke Inhalation - Description

The most common cause of smoke inhalation is fire in a structure, such as a home, office, or factory. People trapped in a burning structure as well as firefighters may inhale smoke produced by the fire.

Cigarette smoking also produces the effects of smoke inhalation. People who smoke do not get as much smoke into their lungs at once as someone trapped in a structural fire. Over a long period of time, however, the effects of cigarette smoking can add up. And eventually the effects on a person's lungs from smoking can be as bad or worse than those caused by other forms of smoke inhalation.

Smoke inhalation is responsible for a large number of the deaths caused by structural fires each year. In many cases, patients do not show symptoms of smoke inhalation until twenty-four to forty-eight hours after the fire. Because of this, they may not be diagnosed correctly and their medical problem may not be treated soon enough or by the correct methods.

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