Acute Inhalation Injury With Evidence of Diffuse Bronchiolitis Following Chlorine Gas Exposure at a Swimming Pool

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Abstract:

A previously healthy 23-year-old man with nonproductive cough and sore throat presented to the hospital a few hours after chlorine gas exposure at a fitness center swimming pool. Initial physical examination and chest radiograph were normal. Thirty-six hours later he developed worsening dyspnea and cough, with development of blood-tinged sputum. Arterial blood gas analysis showed mild hypoxemia and a subsequent chest radiograph demonstrated diffuse tiny nodular opacities. Findings on a thin-section computed tomogram of the chest were consistent with diffuse bronchiolitis. Pulmonary function tests showed a mild obstructive abnormality and he demonstrated substantial bronchodilator response. The patient was treated with oral corticosteroids and an inhaled β 2 agonist, to which he responded well, with full clinical recovery occurring over 5 months. This manifestation of chlorine gas exposure at a swimming pool is unusual.

Keywords: BRONCHIOLITIS; CHLORINE

Document Type: Case Report

Affiliations: 1: Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 2: Department of Radiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 3: Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, Box 359762, 325 Ninth Avenue, Seattle WA 98104;, Email: djp@u.washington.edu

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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