Chlorine-related Inhalation Injury from a Swimming Pool Disinfectant in a 9-year-old Girl

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Chlorine is a potential respiratory hazard in both occupational and household settings. The clinical sequelae of inhalation are variable in severity and timing, and subacute presentation is a concern. We report the case of a 9-year-old girl who developed dyspnea, hypoxemia, and pneumonitis approximately 12 hours after exposure to chlorine released from aerosolized swimming pool purification tablets. Her course was characterized by improvement with supplemental oxygen and bronchodilator therapy. Follow-up pulmonary testing at 4 months after the episode revealed the presence of mild obstructive reactivity of the airways, but she was able to perform normal activities without requiring medications. We discuss the pathophysiology, symptoms, therapy, and long-term follow-up of chlorine inhalation injuries.

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