Hydrocarbon Ingestion


Hydrocarbon Ingestion, Motor Oil Ingestion, Gasoline Ingestion, Lighter Fluid Ingestion, Petroleum Product Poisoning

  • Definitions
  1. Hydrocarbon Ingestion
    1. Examples: Motor oil, gasoline or Lighter Fluid Ingestion
  • Precautions
  1. Aspiration into lungs (with Vomiting) is greatest risk
    1. Aspiration is more likely with less viscous hydrocarbons
    2. Suspect aspiration if presents with coughing, respiratory distress, Hypoxia
  2. Hydrocarbons are directly toxic to pneumocytes (which produce surfactant)
    1. Results in pneumocyte destruction, non-compliant lungs and ARDS
  • Management
  1. Avoid charcoal (not effective and risk of further aspiration)
  2. Avoid Corticosteroids (not effective)
  3. Avoid Nasogastric Tube in most Hydrocarbon Ingestions (NG ineffective)
    1. Exceptions: Organophosphates, carbon tetrachloride, Benzene, methylene chloride
  4. Arrange transfer to higher level of care if signs of aspiration
    1. ECMO may be considered
    2. Exogenous surfactant has been used
  • References
  1. Swadron and Nordt in Herbert (2017) EM:Rap 17(7): 14