Hydrocarbon Toxicity Follow-up

Updated: Jun 06, 2017
  • Author: Michael D Levine, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Miller, MD  more...
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Follow-up

Further Inpatient Care

After a 6-hour observation period during which a patient has a normal chest radiograph and never developed any symptoms (including coughing, vomiting, respiratory difficulty) of hydrocarbon exposure, the patient can be safely discharged home with close follow-up (reevaluation in 24 h).

Patients who develop any symptoms of hydrocarbon exposure during the 6-hour observation should be admitted to a unit capable of continuous pulse oximetry.

Patients should be closely observed for any evidence of respiratory deterioration.

Patients with radiographic evidence of pneumonitis should receive repeat chest radiographs every 24 hours (or sooner, if clinically indicated) to ensure that the pneumonitis is not progressing.

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Deterrence/Prevention

See the list below:

  • Prevention of nonintentional poisonings includes clearly labeling containers that contain hydrocarbons.
  • Prevention of toxicities as a result of recreational drug use includes educating teens about the risks associated with such behavior.
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