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Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
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Experience:  Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
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My husband may have inhaled poison ivy smoke. He currently

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My husband may have inhaled poison ivy smoke. He currently has the rash on his arms and legs from a hike 3 weeks ago, however today he was burning brush and thinks he may have accidentally thrown a part of the vine on the fire and may have inhaled the smoke. Again, he currently has no symptoms, but he was exposed within the hour so what should we do/be on the lookout for?

Thank you for writing in today. Just as poison ivy irritates the skin, inhaling poison ivy can also cause irritation of the airways. Therefore, the most important thing to monitor is respiratory status. If you spouse has any shortness or breath, wheezing, cough, feeling of tightness, or cough, this should be reported. In addition, if he develops any symptoms of abdominal pain or fever, this too should be reported. These are the most common types of reactions; however, if anything out of the ordinary develops, it too should be reported. Report all symptoms, particularly respiratory, immediately, due to risk of progression. If he is already on systemic steroids to treat the skin rash, this may reduce his risk of reaction. Finally, if your husband has a history of asthma, chronic bronchitis, or other respiratory problems, he needs to consult his doctor as soon as possible. His provider may choose to treat with systemic steroids before any issues develop. I hope this helps. If you have additional question or concerns, please let me know. Lisa
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