Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Also called: CO poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that has no odor or color. But it is very dangerous. It can cause sudden illness and death. CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those made by cars and trucks, lanterns, stoves, gas ranges and heating systems. CO from these fumes can build up in places that don't have a good flow of fresh air. You can be poisoned by breathing them in. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion

It is often hard to tell if someone has CO poisoning, because the symptoms may be like those of other illnesses. People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before they have symptoms. A CO detector can warn you if you have high levels of CO in your home.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The following features are indicative of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:
  • dull headache
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • nausea or vomiting
  • shortness of breath
  • confusion
  • blurred vision
  • loss of consciousness
It is possible that Carbon Monoxide Poisoning shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The following are the most common causes of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:
  • inhalation of combustion fumes
  • use of various fuel-burning products and engines

Risk Factors for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:
  • unborn babies
  • children
  • older adults

Prevention of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid exposure to carbon monoxide

Occurrence of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very rare between 1K - 10K cases

Common Age Group

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 20-50 years

Common Gender

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:
  • Spectrophotometry: To detect and quantify CO levels in the blood
  • Chromatographic techniques: To detect and quantify CO levels

Doctor for Diagnosis of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:
  • Emergency medicine specialist
  • Toxicologist

Complications of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning if untreated

Yes, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Carbon Monoxide Poisoning is left untreated:
  • permanent brain damage
  • damage to the heart
  • can be fatal

Self-care for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:
  • Use gas appliances as recommended: Never use a gas stove to heat your home and do not run a generator in an enclosed space
  • Maintain proper vent conditions: Keep your fuel-burning appliances and engines properly vented

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:
  • Acupuncture Therapy: Strengthen the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of delayed encephalopathy caused by carbon monoxide poisoning

Time for Treatment of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Within 1 week

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.

Related Topics

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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