The vast majority of respiratory disorders in thermally injured patients arise from associated inhalation injuries. The major forms of these injuries are carbon monoxide poisoning, injury to the upper airway, and pulmonary parenchymal damage. One hundred per cent oxygen, initiated at the scene of the accident, is the single most effective treatment of carbon monoxide toxicity, which must be assessed by carboxyhemoglobin determinations. Respiratory tract damage is identified by fiberoptic bronchoscopy and xenon ventilation-perfusion scintigrams. The compromised airway is protected by tracheal intubation, and respiratory failure is treated with assisted ventilation and supplemental oxygen. Pulmonary infection requires specific antibiotics based on isolated organisms and their sensitivities to antimicrobials. The upper respiratory tract of patients requiring long-term intubation should be assessed by fiberoptic bronchoscopy and other modalities to prevent fatal late airway occlusion.
Madden, Finkelstein, Goodwin, , , , , , (1986). Respiratory care of the burn patient. Clinics in plastic surgery, 1986 Jan;13(1):29-38. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3956081