Tuberc Respir Dis > Volume 72(2); 2012 > Article
Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases 2012;72(2):177-181.
DOI:    Published online February 1, 2012.
A Case of Activated Charcoal Aspiration Treated by Early and Repeated Bronchoalveolar Lavage.
Han Min Lee, Jae Seok Park, Jae Yun Kim, Ji Yeon Lee, Byung Kyu Ahn, Hyo Wook Gil, Jae Sung Choi
1Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Cheonan Hospital, Cheonan, Korea.
2Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Activated charcoal is an inert substance and it is used in standard therapy in patients with acute intoxication. Charcoal has some side effects such as pulmonary aspiration, gastrointestinal complications, and electrolyte abnormalities. Although aspiration of charcoal is a rare complication, it can cause fatal sequelae. We report a 69-year old man who developed acute respiratory failure associated with charcoal aspiration after management of glyphosate poisoning. The patient was drowsy and suffered severe vomiting during transport to our hospital. On arrival, acute respiratory failure was observed due to charcoal aspiration, but the clinical state was improved with repeated bronchoscopy with a bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). We presumed that the aspirated charcoal was an important factor in evoking a lung injury. Early bronchoscopy with a BAL might be an effective method for eliminating charcoal from the lung, especially in the case of a large amount of aspiration, and be helpful in decreasing respiratory failure due to charcoal aspiration.
Key Words: Charcoal, Respiratory Aspiration, Respiratory Insufficiency, Bronchoalveolar Lavage, Bronchoscopy

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