According to an article published in JEMS, chemical inhalation exposures are common, with the majority of acute inhalation injuries occurring in home and work environments. However, in treating victims it’s important to protect first responders, who “can quickly become victims if the toxin is still present.”

EMS experts recommend “only properly trained rescuers should enter the scene, wearing protective clothing and self-contained breathing apparatus to limit exposure to potential poisons. The patient should be removed from the unsafe area, decontaminated if necessary, and any immediate life threats should be addressed.”

“The mainstay of treatment for these injuries is removing the patient from the exposure, maintaining the airway and providing supportive care including 100% oxygen.”