A nurse on a burn unit is caring for a patient in the acute phase of burn care. While performing an assessment during this phase of burn care, the nurse recognizes that airway obstruction related to upper airway edema may occur up to how long after the burn injury?

Answer Explanation: Airway obstruction caused by upper airway edema can take as long as 48 hours to develop. Changes detected by x-ray and arterial blood gases may occur as the effects of resuscitative fluid and the chemical reaction of smoke ingredients with lung tissues become apparent.

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