Tuberc Respir Dis > Volume 67(3); 2009 > Article
Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases 2009;67(3):249-253.
DOI:    Published online September 1, 2009.
A Case of Respiratory Failure after Clean-up Work of the Hebei Spirit Crude Oil Spill in Taean.
Sun Young Kyung, Su Yeon Chon, Yu Jin Kim, Sang Pyo Lee, Jeong Woong Park, Sung Hwan Jeong
Department of Internal Medicine, Gil Medical Center, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Incheon, Korea.
On 7 December 2007, the Hebei Spirit ran aground near Taean and released approximately 10,900 tons of oil into the sea. Crude oil on the coastal areas and fumes in the air increased the number of health problems among the local population. We report a case of respiratory failure after the oil spill clean-up work. A 66-year-old female was admitted to hospital with cough, sputum, and dyspnea of 1-month duration after the oil spill clean-up. She was diagnosed with community-acquired pneumonia and treated with empirical antibiotics. However, she had progressive respiratory failure without identification of the pathogen. Respiratory failure due to chronic inhalation of hydrocarbons from the crude oil spill clean-up was suspected. After mechanical ventilation care, she recovered from respiratory failure and was discharged. We report a case of severe respiratory toxic effects after an oil spill clean-up. We concluded that long-term hydrocarbon inhalation during the oil spill clean-up may have induced respiratory failure in this case.
Key Words: Petroleum, Hydrocarbons, Respiratory insufficiency

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