Poisoning - Kerosene

Notes
  • This is a common form of poisoning in children in areas where kerosene is used for lighting and cooking fuel.
  • Kerosene is poorly absorbed through GIT but its aspiration into the respiratory tract causes pneumonitis and more so if there is vomiting.
Symptoms
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Restlessness
  • Drowsiness
  • Ataxia
  • Vomiting
  • Cough
  • Pulmonary oedema, tachypnea, crepitations, rhonchi and hypoxaemia (due to pneumonitis)
  • Convulsions
  • Tachycardia
  • Uncounciousneness
Management
  • Intensive support
  • Remove contaminated clothing
  • Wash the skin with soap
  • Avoid emesis or gastric lavage (unless large quantities have been ingested within a period of one hour and it is done by an expert).
  • Activated Charcoal [Not in the EDL]
  • Respiratory support;
  • Oxygen [in the EDL]
  1. Monitor
  • Chest X-ray to monitor pulmonary changes.
  • Pulse oximetry
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