Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome From Chlorine Inhalation During a Swimming Pool Accident: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

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Chlorine inhalation can result in significant morbidity and mortality. The most common clinical ramification is mucosal irritation. Rarely, depending upon the degree of exposure, patients can develop acute respiratory distress syndrome. Management is usually supportive with an unproven role for inhaled or systemic corticosteroids. A case of a young woman who developed respiratory failure secondary to acute respiratory distress syndrome from accidental exposure to chlorine fumes at a community swimming pool is described. The patient suffered a prolonged hospitalization with the need for mechanical ventilation. Despite limited data to support the decision, the patient was started on treatment with corticosteroids. She recovered completely from her illness and was discharged home without supplemental oxygen. A concise discussion of chlorine inhalation injury and a literature review on the utility of inhaled and/or systemic corticosteroids for this clinical entity is presented.

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