Should any of the signs or symptoms occur, call your doctor or the local poison
control center. Any person with serious signs or symptoms should be transported
immediately by ambulance to the nearest hospital's Emergency Department capable
of managing someone with chemical pneumonia.
Chemical identification is helpful both for the poison control center and the
doctor. People with few, if any, symptoms or those with grave symptoms should be
particularly careful to identify the chemical. This should not take precedence
over medical care, however, especially for those with severe signs or symptoms.
Immediate evaluation in a hospital's emergency department is necessary for
treating the following conditions:
The poison control center may suggest other conditions particular to the
chemical that would need emergency care.
Your decision to seek medical care depends on the severity of signs and symptoms
and other factors of exposure. If you accidentally inhale a chemical, you
probably want some medical advice. You can call your local poison control center
for help. If your symptoms are serious, you will want immediate treatment at a
Home care may be the most important aspect of medical management.
Quickly get away from the offending chemical or area of exposure. If possible,
avoid exposing others to the same chemical. Once you're away from the area,
consider further decontamination, such as removing your clothes and showering.
Alert the appropriate authorities to avoid further casualties.
Identify and contain the chemical.
Medical evaluation may involve local police, fire department, emergency medical
services (EMS), and hazardous materials personnel.
Prognosis depends on the chemical exposure and person's medical condition. For
example, an elderly person with lung
exposed to moderate amounts of vaporized ammonium chloride might suffer serious
problems as compared to a young athlete with no lung problems. In general, the
more severe the symptoms, the more likely you will suffer short- and long-term
Short-term complications include other organ injury in addition to possible
Long-term complications include lung scarring and recurrent
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