Propane is considered as a highly versatile gas that is used for cooking, heating and even fuel for vehicles. Nevertheless, propane poisoning is a serious health issue that should not be ignored. If the gas is inhaled, the gas can cause a variety of immediate symptoms and long-term damage. In case propane is being used, being familiar with the symptoms can indicate that there is a leak.
With this in mind, it is vital that you are familiar on what propane gas smells like. If there is a foul odor that continues to persist or hissing sound coming from appliances, these might indicate that there is a propane leak. It is important to have the leak checked to prevent inhalation.
What is propane?
Propane is basically a gas that is either in liquid or vapor form within sealed containers. It is the most common liquid petroleum gas that has a variety of uses. When propane is used, it is released in vapor form from a container and then burned as fuel for a variety of uses. Take note that propane is odorless but an artificial odor has been added in order to identify a leak.
Symptoms of propane inhalation
Always remember that once propane is inhaled, it is considered dangerous. When an individual breathes in propane, the symptoms tend to vary. If the individual is around propane, it is important to watch out for the following symptoms.
- Pain or numbness in the extremities
- Irregular heartbeat
- Skin irritation
If any of these symptoms are present, you have to provide the appropriate first aid care measures to prevent the condition from worsening.
First aid for propane inhalation
If an individual shows signs of propane inhalation, it is important to seek medical care right away. In case of inhalation, transfer the individual to an area with fresh air and check if the symptoms improve. If there is no improvement, call for emergency assistance.
In case the propane gas came in contact with the skin or eyes, it must be washed under running water for 15 minutes or more. If propane has been ingested, provide water or milk for the individual to drink unless symptoms such as vomiting or convulsion are present. Do not induce the individual to vomit unless instructed by a healthcare professional.
Treatment for propane inhalation
The treatment for propane inhalation usually varies depending on the severity of the exposure and how quickly the individual was given medical care. Minor cases of propane inhalation will only cause headaches. Nevertheless, extended exposure to propane gas can lead to coma, stroke or even death. Once the individual is taken to the hospital, the vital signs of the individual will be checked and oxygen might be given. A blood test might be required in order to reveal accurately the extent of the propane inhalation.