Non-smokers affected more by smoke inhalation
April 17, 2007
In a new research done by doctors at the Rhode Island Hospital , it was found that non smokers are the ones most affected by smoke inhalation. It was led by Gerald Abbott, MD, director of chest radiology.
The lungs of 21 people who had survived the station fire in February 20, 2003 were studied along with a control group consisting of 10 healthy non-survivors. 35 - 48 months after the fire, volumetric high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) was performed on the two groups. It was found that there were differences of result as to how far it affected a person.
In the study, air trapping in the lung was graded from 1 to 3; according to the percentage of affect on the lungs. In the healthy non-survivor it was found that the amount of air-trapping was grade 1 to 2 which was normal. However, among the non-smoker survivors it was 3, which makes them the most affected. This abnormal trapping of air is due to the presence of constrictive bronchiolitis in airway of the lungs.
"This research tells us that physicians treating patients for smoke inhalation should be aware that one of the chronic effects of smoke inhalation, air-trapping, seems to be more severe in non-smokers." Abbott.
This is the first time that such an experiment was conducted to check the effect of smoke inhalation between smokers and non-smokers. And it is believed that these findings will be of a great help in treating future victims of smoke inhalation.