Font Size

Chemical Pneumonia (cont.)

Chemical Pneumonia Treatment

Evaluation and treatment for chemical pneumonia vary. Almost everyone will have measurements of blood pressure, oxygen level, heart rate, and respiratory rate.

In many people with chemical pneumonia, treatment is primarily observation. Sometimes symptoms develop over time and the amount of damage done won't be totally known for several hours.

Many treatments are possible, including the following:

  • IV fluids
  • Oxygen by mask or tube
  • Breathing treatment with medicine to open breathing tubes
  • Steroid medications by IV or mouth
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications by mouth
  • Pain medications by IV or mouth
  • Artificial ventilation (help breathing)
  • Preventive antibiotics (sometimes)
  • Antidotes (usually poison control and a toxicologist are consulted. Use of antidotes are rare.

Chemical Pneumonia Prognosis

Prognosis depends on the chemical exposure and person's medical condition. For example, an elderly person with lung disease exposed to moderate amounts of vaporized ammonium chloride might suffer more serious problems as compared to a young athlete with no lung problems. In general, the more severe the symptoms, the more likely the patient will suffer short- and long-term complications.

  • Short-term complications include other organ injury in addition to possible death.
  • Long-term complications include lung scarring and recurrent pneumonia.

Medically reviewed by James E. Gerace, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Pulmonary Disease

REFERENCES: Aspiration Pneumonia. Occupational Lung Diseases.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/4/2016
Medical Author:

Pneumonia Quiz IQ

Must Read Articles Related to Chemical Pneumonia

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Chemical Pneumonia:

Pneumonia - Symptoms

Did you have chemical pneumonia? Please describe your symptoms.

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Pneumonia »

Pneumonia is characterized by inflammation of the alveoli and terminal airspaces in response to invasion by an infectious agent introduced into the lungs through hematogenous spread or inhalation.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary