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Why smoke inhalation is so dangerous

On Behalf of | Oct 17, 2022 | Workers' Compensation |

The work that firefighters do is admirable. People in this profession save thousands of lives every single year. Unfortunately, they do so at a risk to their own well-being, and many firefighters are killed or seriously injured during the course of their duties.

The most obvious risk with firefighting is the heat of the blazes themselves, which can also cause immense explosions. Something that can be overlooked is the smoke that most fires emit. This often contains carbon monoxide and other hazardous substances which can cause serious damage when they are inhaled.

The immediate danger of smoke

If a firefighter becomes surrounded by smoke then they are most likely taking carbon monoxide into their lungs rather than oxygen. In just a short time, a person can be placed in serious danger if there is a lack of oxygen getting into their system. The tissues of the body cannot survive without oxygen and the brain and other vital organs will begin to shut down. This is the most immediate danger of smoke inhalation.

Long-term impacts

Even if a firefighter manages to escape from the blaze in one piece, the damage caused to their lungs from smoke inhalation can last for a long time. It’s not uncommon for firefighters to have difficulties breathing, headaches, chest pains, and heart problems for several months after experiencing smoke inhalation. In severe cases, the damage to the lungs might be irreparable.

As a firefighter, you provide a vital service to the public and you also deserve to be looked after. If you have been injured on the job, then make sure you explore your options in terms of pursuing legal compensation.

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