According to statistics, 3 people die every minute in the world, poisoned by smoke. Due to the ignition of forests and peatlands in some regions of Russia, it is difficult to escape from the smoke even in the apartments of cities. Often there are fires in the houses themselves. In autumn, many garden owners do not want to give up the burning of fallen leaves, polluting the atmosphere and exerting a poisonous effect not only on their bodies, but also on those around them.
You will learn about the causes of the harmful effects of smoke on the body in various situations (fire, burning fires, burning food, plastics and other products made of artificial materials), manifestations of poisoning, first aid and treatment.
Causes of smoke poisoning
In case of fire, danger is not only open fire. Smoke poisoning smoldering materials in a fire occurs due to ingress of smoke through the respiratory tract. Poisoning effect is provided first of all by two substances in it:
- carbon monoxide;
- and hydrogen cyanide is dangerous even in small quantities.
The presence of cyanide in the composition of the smoke due to the fact that it is available in building materials.
Carbon dioxide blocks hemoglobin, thereby disrupting the supply of oxygen to various organs, and oxygen starvation develops. Cyanide disrupts energy metabolism in the structure of tissues and cellular respiration.
When burning various materials, irritating gases are formed, which, when combined with water, form corrosive solutions - nitric, sulfuric and sulfuric acid, ammonia. They cause damage (chemical burns) of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, narrowing of the small bronchi and accumulation of fluid in the lungs.
The smoke may contain highly toxic gas phosgene, which is formed when the contents of the fire extinguisher come into contact with a hot surface.
Is it possible to get poisoned by smoke, sitting by the fire? It turns out that the smoke from the fire is as harmful for the body as the smoke of cigarettes. When forced cooking on a fire, the body receives daily amounts of tar, equivalent to smoking 2 packs of cigarettes. Children and pregnant women are most susceptible to smoke from the fire. They suffer from chronic diseases of the respiratory system, babies are born sick. From smoke develops a cataract.
When burning garbage, fallen leaves, there is also a danger: plastic bottles fall into the garbage, grass with roadside pollution with diesel fuel, gasoline, and so on.
Of particular danger are poisoning from the smoke from burning plastic, foam rubber, rubber, paints and varnishes, plywood - the phosgene and dioxin produced in this process cause malignant diseases, and cyanides contribute to the development of the strongest allergic reactions.
In wet weather, toxic substances are combined with water vapor, hover in the air, deposited on the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract.
Poisoning by smoke from meat or fish burned in a pan produces a mixture of carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Often the victims are children whose parents forget about the remaining pot on the stove and leave the house, or lovers of the “green serpent”.
Symptoms of smoke poisoning
The main signs of smoke poisoning are:
- the appearance of general weakness;
- heaviness in the head;
- headache (in the frontal-temporal region);
- redness of the face;
- noise in ears;
- increased heart rate;
- muscle pain;
- vomiting and syncope are possible.
In case of smoke poisoning, symptoms may appear after a few hours, but the severity may increase very quickly, representing a danger to life.
Irritant gases cause a burning pain in the throat and chest, persistent cough. During the day there is a cyanotic shade of skin, shortness of breath develops, followed by pulmonary edema.
With severe poisoning, respiration is frequent and superficial, convulsions appear, respiratory and cardiovascular insufficiency develop. Maybe involuntary urination. Death comes from the cessation of breathing and the heart.
With massive forest fires in nearby communities, many people of different ages may be disturbed by malaise, poor general well-being, and disturbances in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
The life of the victim often depends on the assistance provided to him. What should be done with smoke poisoning? First you need to call an ambulance or go to a nearby hospital. Prior to the arrival of specialists, it is necessary to begin first aid
First aid for smoke poisoning includes the following measures.
- The victim must be removed or brought to fresh air, free from clothing that makes breathing difficult - unbutton the collar and belt.
- Drink hot strong tea.
- To speed up the elimination of toxins from the body, give a sorbent: the most powerful of them is the sorbent of the new generation “Polysorb MP”, but “Activated carbon” will do.
- When fainting, carefully sniff cotton wool with ammonia.
- Make sure that the airway is free, and if vomit is present, release the oral cavity.
- If unconscious - lay the victim (turning his head to the side), prevent the tongue from falling.
- Check for pulsation in the carotid artery.
- In the absence of palpitations and breathing, perform an indirect heart massage and perform artificial respiration.
- Eliminate hypothermia - if necessary, put a heating pad on the legs, while avoiding skin burns in view of reducing pain sensitivity.
The question of further treatment will be decided by the doctor after the examination. After hospitalization, the patient is provided with long-term respiration with oxygen, which displaces carbon dioxide from its connection with hemoglobin. Within three hours, the hyperventilation mode is established - the oxygen concentration in the inhaled air is about 80%, and then it is reduced to 50%. In severe cases, treatment is carried out in a pressure chamber with elevated oxygen pressure.
Symptomatic treatment is carried out depending on the severity of the condition. If there are indications, they are used:
- heart remedies;
- vitamin therapy.
As a result, we can draw the following conclusions - smoke can be poisoned in various situations: during a fire in a room or in a forest, from a fire when burning garbage or during cooking due to the burning of food in a saucepan. Of particular danger is the smoke from the combustion of plastic. Symptoms of poisoning are weakness, facial flushing, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, and headache. When manifestations of poisoning should be given first aid, and in severe cases should seek medical help.