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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 20, Issue 6, Pages e100-e103
Clinico-Pathologic Conferences

Ice Hockey Lung – A Case of Mass Nitrogen Dioxide Poisoning in The Czech Republic

Kristian Brat,1 Zdenek Merta,1 Marek Plutinsky,1 Jana Skrickova,1 and Miroslav Stanek Ing2

1Department of Respiratory Diseases, University Hospital, Czech Republic
2Regional Environmental Assessment Service, Brno, Czech Republic

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a toxic gas, a product of combustion in malfunctioning ice-resurfacing machines. NO2 poisoning is rare but potentially lethal. The authors report a case of mass NO2 poisoning involving 15 amateur ice hockey players in the Czech Republic. All players were treated in the Department of Respiratory Diseases at Brno University Hospital in November 2010 – three as inpatients because they developed pneumonitis. All patients were followed-up until November 2011. Complete recovery in all but one patient was achieved by December 2010. None of the 15 patients developed asthma-like disease or chronic cough. Corticosteroids appeared to be useful in treatment. Electric-powered ice-resurfacing machines are preferable in indoor ice skating arenas.