Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
A number of treatments may be given for smoke inhalation.
Oxygen is the mainstay of treatment.
Oxygen may be applied with a nose tube, mask, or through a tube down the throat.
If the patient has signs and symptoms of upper airway problems (hoarseness), they will most likely be intubated. The doctor places a tube down the throat to keep the airway from closing due to swelling.
If the patient has respiratory distress or mental status changes, they may also be intubated to let the staff help with breathing, to suction off mucus, and keep the patient from choking on secretions.
Bronchoscopy is procedure performed through a small scope to directly look at the degree of damage done to the airways and to allow for suctioning of secretions and debris.
Usually bronchoscopy is done through an endotracheal tube after the patient receives adequate sedation and pain relievers.
Bronchoscopy may be necessary if the patient has growing respiratory failure, fails to demonstrate clinical improvement, or a segment of the lung remains collapsed.