March 13, 1972

Corticosteroids and Antibiotics for the Treatment of Fulminant Hydrocarbon Aspiration

Author Affiliations

From the Research and Development Service, US Army Tripler General Hospital, and the Section of Pediatrics, University of Hawaii School of Medicine, Honolulu. Dr. Steele is now with Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC.

JAMA. 1972;219(11):1434-1437. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190370026006

Twenty mongrel dogs were used to examine the efficacy of corticosteroids and antibiotics for the treatment of hydrocarbon aspiration. The animals were randomly assigned to a control or treatment group and were given a median lethal dose of kerosene intratracheally. Treated animals received intramuscularly administered dexamethasone sodium phosphate and ampicillin sodium. There was no statistical difference between the control and treated animals for mortality; respiration and pulse rates; clinical appearance; arterial pH, oxygen pressure, and carbon dioxide pressure; complete blood cell count; serum electrolyte levels; roentgenograms of the chest; or gross and microscopic pulmonary pathologic findings. The results provide no evidence that currently recommended corticosteriods and antibiotics are efficacious in the treatment of fulminant cases of hydrocarbon aspiration.