Gasoline explosions, gasoline sniffing: An epidemic in young adolescents

M. Cole, D. N. Herndon, M. H. Desai, S. Abston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


One hundred twenty-two patients between the ages of 10 and 15 were admitted to the Shriners Burns Institute between July 1981 and November 1984. Seventy-five of the 122 patients sustained burns as a direct result of liquid gasoline explosions. Thirty patients had thrown gasoline on a fire and 17 others admitted to having ignited gasoline with a match. During admission interviews, none of the patients admitted to gasoline sniffing; however, 19 patients were subsequently found to have been sniffing gasoline at the time of the accident. All of the patients with gasoline burns sustained much larger burns, had longer hospitalizations, and required more surgery than did patients burned by other means. Similarly, the 19 patients who had been sniffing gasoline had larger burns, had longer hospital stays, and required more surgery than did those injured by gasoline in other accidents. The most common cause of thermal injury in the ten-to-15-year age group is a gasoline-related accident. The histories of a large number of these adolescents may be compatible with explosions related to gasoline sniffing. Educational efforts relating to the explosive nature of the substance and the dangers of gasoline sniffing are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-534
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • General Nursing
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • General Health Professions


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