Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
123 Doctors are Online

Kerosene poisoning

Kerosene is a chemical used mainly in paints, pesticides, fuel lamps and heating. Ingestion and other exposures to the chemical can cause various symptoms. The poisonous ingredient is Hydrocarbons, substances that contain only hydrogen and carbon.


Signs and symptoms

Respiratory symptoms

  • Breathing difficulty - dyspnea
  • Throat swelling
  • Chemical pneumonitis due to aspiration

Eyes, ears, nose, and throat manifestations

  • Pain
  • Red eyes
  • Eye and nose irritation
  • Throat irritation/sore throat
  • Vision loss

Gastrointestinal manifestations

  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood in the stools
  • Burns of the esophagus
  • Bloody vomiting

Heart or cardiac manifestation

  • Collapse
  • Low blood pressure

Nervous system

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Euphoria
  • Headache
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Staggering
  • Weakness


  • Burns
  • Irritation
  • Skin deffating

Tests and diagnosis

  • Complete blood count
  • Blood glucose levels
  • Renal function test- blood urea and creatine
  • Serum electrolytes
  • Arterial blood gas analysis
  • Bronchoscopy- to assess burns in airways and lungs
  • Endoscopy- to assess burns in stomach and esophagus

Treatment of Kerosene poisoning

Stabilization of airways

  • Stabilization of the airway is always the first line of treatment in patients with kerosene poisoning.
  • Supplemental oxygen
  • Early intubation and mechanical ventilation is required in patient in whom oxygenation is inadequate or in a patient who has severe respiratory distress or a decreased level of consciousness.

Cutaneous decontamination

  • Decontaminate the skin as soon as possible by removing the involved clothing and thoroughly washing the skin with soap and water

Gastric decontamination

  • The role of gastric decontamination is controversial.
  • If gastric decontamination is considered, before that airways to be stabilized to minimize the risk of aspiration secondary to the patient's vomiting.
  • Regarding gastric lavage, the risk and complications of aspiration outweigh the benefits
  • Activated charcoal has a limited role in the management of hydrocarbon ingestion. Charcoal poorly adsorbs most kerosene products


© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor