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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

What is carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning happens when you breathe too much carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a gas produced by burning any type of fuel-gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal. Without oxygen, cells throughout the body die, and the organs stop working.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms
  • Dull headache

  • Weakness

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Shortness of breath

  • Confusion

  • Blurred vision

  • Loss of consciousness

Causes of carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning is caused by inhaling combustion fumes. The most common sources are motor vehicle exhaust, smoke from fires, engine fumes, and nonelectric heaters. When too much carbon monoxide is in the air you’re breathing, your body replaces the oxygen in your red blood cells with carbon monoxide.

Sources of carbon monoxide

  1. Gas water heaters

    Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
    Gas Water Heater
  2. Kerosene space heaters

    Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Kerosene space heaters
    Kerosene space heaters
  3. Propane heaters and stoves

    Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Propane Heaters
    Propane Heaters
  4. Charcoal grills

    Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Charcoal Grill
    Charcoal Grill
  5. Gasoline and diesel powered generators

    Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Gasoline Power Generator
    Power Generator
  6. Cigarette smoke

    Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Cigarette Smoke
    Cigarette Smoke
  7. Propane-fueled forklifts

    Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Propane Forklift
    Propane Forklift
  8. Gasoline powered concrete saws

    Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Propane Gas Concrete Saw
    Gas Concrete Saw
  9. Spray paint, solvents, degreasers, and paint removers

    Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Spray Paint
    Spray Paint
  10. Boats engines

    Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Boat Engine
    Boat Engine
  11. Indoor tractor pulls

    Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Tractor Pulls
    Tractor Pulls

Risks for exposure to carbon monoxide

  • Children riding in the back of enclosed pickup trucks

  • Personnel at fire scenes

  • Industrial workers at pulp mills, steel foundries, and plants producing formaldehyde or coke

  • Using heating sources or electric generators during power outages

  • Those working indoors with combustion engines or combustible gases

  • Swimming near or under the stern or swim-step of a boat with the boat engine running

  • Back drafting when a boat is operated at a high bow angle

  • Mooring next to a boat that is running a generator or engine

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Treatment

  1. The treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning is high-dose oxygen, usually using a facemask attached to an oxygen reserve bag.

  2. Carbon monoxide levels in the blood may be periodically checked until they are low enough to safely send the patient home.

  3. In severe poisoning, if available, a hyperbaric pressure chamber may be used to provide even higher doses of oxygen to the patient.

  4. It is important to find the source of the carbon monoxide. A local fire department or public service company will help find the source of carbon monoxide and make sure the building is safe.

To Avoid getting CO poisoning, you can take the following preventive measures

  1. Ensure there’s plenty of ventilation in areas with appliances that burn gas, wood, propane, or other fuel.

  2. Buy a CO detector and place it in an area near the source of CO. Make sure to change the batteries regularly.

  3. Don’t fall asleep or sit for a long time in an idling car that’s in an enclosed space.

  4. Don’t sleep near a gas or kerosene space heater.

  5. Don’t ignore symptoms of CO poisoning.

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