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Smoke Inhalation with Dr. Lane

Selena L. Lane, DVM, DACVECC, University of Georgia

In this episode, host Alyssa Watson, DVM, talks with Selena Lane, DVM, DACVECC, about her recent Clinician’s Brief article, “Smoke Inhalation.” Dr. Lane explains what exactly causes the problems in these pets and how to assess them with a focus on respiratory injury and toxins like carbon monoxide or hydrogen cyanide. She also shares the best therapeutic approaches for these dynamic cases.

Key Takeaways

  • The 5 most common clinical consequences are: acute upper airway obstruction, bronchospasm, small airway occlusion, pulmonary infections, and respiratory failure.
  • Once inhaled, soot adheres to the mucosa in the trachea and begins to disrupt natural defense mechanisms causing the airway to become less effective at clearing out debris. It also allows bacteria and other irritants to bind to the mucosa.
  • The 2 most common toxic gasses seen in house fires are carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide. Carbon monoxide can bind up the hemoglobin making patients functionally anemic—though they are not actually anemic as they have the same number of red blood cells.
  • Airway damage can be delayed. Continue to monitor for at least 24 hours, ideally up to 72 depending on the patient.
  • Arterial blood gas measurement is a practical and reliable method of measuring hypoxemia. A pulse ox will be inaccurate.
  • Do not overdo it with fluids. Edema is already occurring.
  • Avoid NSAIDs or steroids in most smoke inhalation patients.

About Our Guest

Selena L. Lane, DVM, DACVECC, is a clinical assistant professor of emergency and critical care at the University of Georgia, where she also completed an emergency/critical care specialty internship and residency. She earned her DVM from North Carolina State University and completed a rotating small animal internship at Purdue University. Her research interests are in sepsis, point-of-care monitoring, and toxicity management in small animals.

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The Team:

  • Alyssa Watson, DVM - Host
  • Alexis Ussery - Producer & Digital Content Coordinator
  • Randall Stupka - Podcast Production & Sound Editing
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