Weekly First-aid Topic: A reminder from Beijing 120 Center: preventing inhalation injuries in fire accidents
From:Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning


Fire burns are often accompanied by inhalation injuries. Serious inhalation injury may threaten life. Beijing 120 center prompts that if you encounter a fire, you need to block the smoke in time and avoid inhaling the harmful gases into the body, causing injuries.

Inhalation injury refers to inhaling heat, smoke or chemicals into the respiratory tract, causing damage to the nasopharynx, trachea, bronchus and even the lungs. Burns combined with inhalation injuries often increase the difficulty of treatment. Mild inhalation injury is mostly limited to the nose and mouth and the pharynx. The sputum containing carbon particles can be seen clinically in such cases with red and swollen mouth and blisters. The patient often feels mild pain and dryness in throat. Moderate inhalation injury mainly affects the pharynx, larynx and trachea, often accompanied by hoarseness and redness and edema of the upper respiratory tract. Severe inhalation injury often damages the bronchi, bronchioles and alveoli, resulting in airway mucosal shedding, pulmonary edema, atelectasis and severe breathing difficulties, etc.

When there is a fire, most of the smoke usually collects in the upper space. While escaping, you should keep your body close the ground or bent forward. In the evacuation, it is advised to apply a soaked towel or a mask to cover the nose and mouth to cool down and filter toxic gases. In a serious fire accident, it is difficult to escape when the door is closed. It is necessary to soak the towel and clothes to block the door joints to prevent the intrusion of toxic gases. It is suggested to move close to the balcony window to indicate the outside people, conduct scientific self-help or waiting for rescue.