Smoke inhalation occurs when a person breathes in hot air, smoke or chemical fumes, which can cause burns or swelling in the air passages. Life-threatening carbon monoxide poisoning can occur with smoke inhalation. The person may be restless, confused or violent from the smoke and toxic gases inhaled. A changed mental state may be a direct effect of the toxins or may be caused by a lack of oxygen (hypoxia). Urgent medical attention is needed for someone with symptoms of smoke inhalation. These symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing.
- Noisy breathing.
- Hoarseness, trouble speaking or inability to speak in full sentences.
- Dark-colored sputum.
- A change in mental state, such as restlessness, confusion or sleepiness (lethargy).
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