Inhalation injury consists of a multitude of insults, the first of which is the toxic gases inhaled during the combustion of organic and inorganic substances. Significant morbidity and mortality in patients with burn injury occur due to the varying effects of these gases. This section of the compendium initially addresses two classically described inhaled gases: carbon monoxide and cyanide, followed by a discussion of a gas associated with illicit drug use: metamphetamine. Understanding the varying effects of the toxic gases at the scene of injury may facilitate the development of specific treatment regimens for inhalation injury.
From the Department of Surgery, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa.
This study was supported by Shriners Hospital for Children Grant #8431.
Address correspondence to G. Patrick Kealey, MD, FACS, Department of Surgery, Carver College of Medicine, 200 Hawkins Drive, 1198RCP/Surg, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.