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Chemical pneumonitis in a 9-year-old following chlorine gas exposure
  1. Suzanne Cromie1 and
  2. Christopher Flannigan2
  1. 1 Paediatric Intensive Care, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast, UK
  2. 2 Paediatrics, Antrim Area Hospital, Antrim, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Suzanne Cromie, scromie06{at}


A previously fit and well 9-year-old boy developed shortness of breath and chest pain after playing with friends on a building site where bonfire materials were being collected. Firstline investigations failed to explain his symptoms, which worsened over the next 24 hours, necessitating endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation. When public health and the police retraced his steps, they found barrels of sodium hypochlorite and red diesel at the bonfire site, which when mixed had the potential to form chlorine gas leading to the diagnosis of a chemical pneumonitis secondary to chlorine gas inhalation. Supportive care was continued, and he was successfully extubated after 48 hours. At 6-week follow-up, he had no ongoing pulmonary symptoms.

  • mechanical ventilation
  • exposures
  • interstitial lung disease
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  • Contributors SC performed the literature review and wrote the case report. CF identified the case and reviewed the case report.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

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