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Cyanide intoxication as part of smoke inhalation - a review on diagnosis and treatment from the emergency perspective

Author(s): Lawson-Smith Pia | Jansen Erik | Hyldegaard Ole

Journal: Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine
ISSN 1757-7241

Volume: 19;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 14;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract This paper reviews the current literature on smoke inhalation injuries with special attention to the effects of hydrogen cyanide. It is assumed that cyanide poisoning is still an overlooked diagnosis in fire victims. Treatment against cyanide poisoning in the emergency setting should be given based on the clinical diagnosis only. Oxygen in combination with a recommended antidote should be given immediately, the first to reduce cellular hypoxia and the second to eliminate cyanide. A specific antidote is hydroxycobalamin, which can be given iv. and has few side effects.
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