Nursing Care Plan For Kerosene Poisoning

Nursing Care Plan For Kerosene Poisoning


Kerosene poisoning is a serious medical emergency resulting from the ingestion, inhalation, or dermal exposure to kerosene, a common household fuel and industrial solvent. This toxic exposure can lead to a range of symptoms, from mild discomfort to severe respiratory distress, making immediate and appropriate nursing care essential.

The nursing care plan for kerosene poisoning is designed to address the unique needs of individuals affected by this toxic substance. It prioritizes rapid assessment, early intervention, and close monitoring to mitigate the potential complications associated with kerosene exposure. This plan aims to provide safe and effective care while minimizing further harm to the patient and promoting their recovery.

Nursing Assessment for Kerosene Poisoning:

Kerosene poisoning can present with a range of symptoms and severity levels, requiring a thorough nursing assessment to guide appropriate care. Here is a comprehensive assessment for patients with suspected or confirmed kerosene poisoning:

1. Chief Complaint and History:

  • Obtain a detailed history, including the patient’s chief complaint, circumstances of exposure (ingestion, inhalation, or dermal contact), and time elapsed since exposure.
  • Gather information about any pre-existing medical conditions, allergies, or medications.

2. Vital Signs:

  • Monitor and record vital signs, including heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and temperature.
  • Pay close attention to respiratory rate and effort, as respiratory distress is a common symptom.

3. Respiratory Assessment:

  • Assess the patient’s respiratory status, including breath sounds, work of breathing, and oxygen saturation.
  • Observe for signs of respiratory distress, such as tachypnea, retractions, nasal flaring, and use of accessory muscles.

4. Neurological Assessment:

  • Evaluate the patient’s level of consciousness, noting any changes in mental status, confusion, agitation, or lethargy.
  • Assess for signs of central nervous system depression, such as dizziness, headache, or loss of consciousness.

5. Gastrointestinal Assessment:

  • In cases of ingestion, assess for nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and the presence of kerosene in the oral cavity.
  • Monitor for signs of gastrointestinal irritation or bleeding, such as hematemesis or melena.

6. Dermal Examination:

  • If dermal exposure is suspected, examine the skin for redness, irritation, blistering, or burns.
  • Note the extent and location of the dermal contact.

7. Ophthalmic Assessment:

  • If eye exposure has occurred, assess for eye irritation, redness, tearing, and visual disturbances.
  • Rinse the eyes with sterile saline or water if indicated.

8. Fluid Balance:

  • Monitor fluid balance by assessing intake and output to detect potential fluid loss due to vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Evaluate for signs of dehydration, such as dry mucous membranes and decreased skin turgor.

9. Laboratory Tests:

  • Collaborate with the healthcare team to order relevant laboratory tests, such as arterial blood gases (ABGs), complete blood count (CBC), electrolyte panel, and coagulation studies.
  • These tests help assess the patient’s overall condition and guide treatment decisions.

10. Radiological Evaluation:

  • In cases of suspected aspiration, request chest X-rays to evaluate for signs of pneumonitis or pneumonia.

11. Psychosocial Assessment:

  • Consider the psychological impact of poisoning on the patient and their family, especially in cases of accidental ingestion by children.
  • Offer emotional support and counseling as needed.

Kerosene poisoning can have potentially life-threatening consequences, particularly if the respiratory system is compromised. Early recognition, appropriate intervention, and close monitoring are crucial in preventing severe complications and promoting the patient’s recovery.

Nursing Diagnoses for Kerosene Poisoning:

1. Ineffective Breathing Pattern related to pulmonary aspiration and chemical irritation:

  • Kerosene exposure can lead to respiratory distress, including aspiration pneumonitis. It is essential to address breathing pattern alterations promptly.

2. Acute Pain related to gastrointestinal irritation, burns, or discomfort:

  • Patients with kerosene poisoning may experience abdominal pain, discomfort, or burns in cases of ingestion. Managing pain is crucial for patient comfort.

3. Risk for Impaired Skin Integrity related to dermal exposure:

  • In cases of dermal exposure, the skin may become irritated, leading to the risk of skin breakdown, burns, or blister formation.

4. Risk for Fluid Volume Deficit related to vomiting and diarrhea:

  • Gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea can lead to fluid losses, potentially causing dehydration.

5. Altered Mental Status related to central nervous system depression:

  • Kerosene exposure can lead to central nervous system depression, resulting in altered mental status, confusion, or lethargy.

6. Risk for Aspiration related to impaired swallowing or altered level of consciousness:

  • Patients with kerosene ingestion may be at risk of aspiration due to impaired swallowing or altered mental status.

7. Deficient Knowledge related to kerosene poisoning and prevention:

  • Patient and family education is crucial in preventing future incidents of kerosene poisoning.

These nursing diagnoses encompass the physical and psychological aspects of care for individuals affected by kerosene poisoning. They guide the development of care plans that address the immediate needs of the patient, including respiratory distress, pain, and fluid balance, while also promoting education and prevention strategies to mitigate future risks.

Nursing Interventions For Kerosene Poisoning:

1. Assessment:

  • Perform a thorough physical assessment of the patient, including vital signs (pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate, temperature, oxygen saturation).
  • Assess the patient’s level of consciousness, responsiveness, and neurological status.
  • Document any signs and symptoms of kerosene exposure, such as skin irritation, respiratory distress, or gastrointestinal complaints.

2. Airway Management:

  • Ensure a patent airway and provide supplemental oxygen as necessary to maintain adequate oxygenation.
  • Consider intubation and mechanical ventilation for patients with severe respiratory distress or compromised airways.

3. Respiratory Support:

  • Administer bronchodilators as prescribed to alleviate bronchospasms.
  • Monitor respiratory status closely, including breath sounds and oxygen saturation.

4. Gastrointestinal Decontamination:

  • Do not induce vomiting due to the risk of aspiration and worsening respiratory distress.
  • Administer activated charcoal if indicated and as prescribed to help adsorb any remaining kerosene in the stomach.

5. Fluid Replacement:

  • Establish and maintain intravenous (IV) access for fluid and electrolyte replacement.
  • Administer IV fluids as prescribed to maintain adequate hydration.

6. Monitoring and Observation:

  • Continuously monitor the patient’s vital signs, including heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature.
  • Observe for signs of shock, such as hypotension, tachycardia, and altered mental status.

7. Skin Care:

  • Gently cleanse and soothe any exposed skin areas with mild soap and water.
  • Apply sterile dressings to affected skin if there are burns or chemical irritation.

8. Pain Management:

  • Administer analgesics as prescribed to alleviate pain and discomfort.

9. Psychosocial Support:

  • Provide emotional support to the patient and their family.
  • Encourage open communication and provide information about the prognosis and treatment plan.

10. Education and Prevention:

  • Educate the patient and their caregivers about the dangers of kerosene ingestion and inhalation.
  • Stress the importance of storing kerosene and other toxic substances safely out of reach of children.
  • Provide resources for poison control centers and emergency contact information.

11. Consultation and Referral:

  • Consult with a toxicology specialist or poison control center for guidance on specific treatment modalities.
  • Consider transfer to a specialized facility if the patient’s condition deteriorates or if there are complications that require advanced care.

These nursing interventions are meant to serve as a general guideline. Always follow the specific protocols and orders provided by the healthcare provider and adapt care to the individual patient’s needs.


In conclusion, the nursing care plan for kerosene poisoning involves a comprehensive and systematic approach to managing this potentially life-threatening condition. The key focus of our care plan has been on prompt assessment, airway management, respiratory support, gastrointestinal decontamination, fluid replacement, and continuous monitoring of the patient’s vital signs and overall condition.

It is essential for the healthcare team to work collaboratively to provide the best care possible for the patient. This includes ongoing evaluation of the patient’s response to treatment, adjusting interventions as needed, and addressing any complications that may arise.

Additionally, patient and family education play a vital role in preventing future incidents of kerosene poisoning. By emphasizing safe storage practices and raising awareness about the dangers of kerosene exposure, we can contribute to community health and safety.

As nursing professionals, our commitment to compassionate care, vigilant monitoring, and evidence-based interventions is crucial in ensuring the best possible outcome for patients affected by kerosene poisoning. By following the established care plan and maintaining open communication within the healthcare team, we can optimize the chances of a successful recovery for our patients.

Ultimately, our goal is to provide high-quality care, alleviate the patient’s suffering, and promote their well-being. We remain dedicated to upholding the highest standards of nursing practice and continually improving our skills to meet the diverse and evolving needs of our patients.


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