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Cause of Injury
Smoke/Heat Inhalation

According to the National Fire Protection Agency (2011), 45% of civilian deaths in home fires resulted from both burns and smoke inhalation, while 40% of deaths were due to smoke inhalation alone.

Smoke inhalation injuries result from inhalation of vapors, harmful gases and particulate matter contained in smoke. Smoke inhalation affects people of all ages, but the elderly and young children (under the age of 10) are more vulnerable to the effects. Smoke Inhalation Injury can affect people of all ages in virtually any occupationVirtually any occupation may be affected, including oil refinery, manufacturing, construction, industrial and service business sectors. Smoke inhalation injuries may also result from residential building fires caused by gas explosions, electrical fires, defective products, and water heater fires. Firefighters and/or victims caught in structure fires are most at risk for inhalation injury.

Individuals trapped in fires may suffer inhalation injuries alone, or may also suffer burn injuries. The risk of inhalation injury increases as the percentage of total body surface area burned increases. Smoke inhalation injury is not always immediately detectable, but usually appears within 2 to 48 hours after a burn injury occurs. Common indications include:

  • Fainting/loss of consciousness
  • Evidence of respiratory compromise or airway obstruction
  • Soot present around the nose and mouth/singed nasal hairs
  • Singed eyelashes/eyebrows
  • Neck or facial burns
  • The presence of fire/smoke in an enclosed area
Individuals who present with any of the above symptoms should be monitored carefully for inhalation injury and respiratory compromise.
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Contact Us If you, a family member, or someone you know have sustained a serious injury and you want to determine whether you have a Personal Injury claim and/or a Worker's Compensation claim, please contact us.

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