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.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
Nausea or vomiting
Shortness of breath
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
Gas water heaters
Kerosene space heaters
Propane heaters and stoves
Gasoline and diesel powered generators
Gasoline powered concrete saws
Spray paint, solvents, degreasers, and paint removers
Indoor 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
The treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning is high-dose oxygen, usually using a facemask attached to an oxygen reserve bag.
Carbon monoxide levels in the blood may be periodically checked until they are low enough to safely send the patient home.
In severe poisoning, if available, a hyperbaric pressure chamber may be used to provide even higher doses of oxygen to the patient.
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
Ensure there’s plenty of ventilation in areas with appliances that burn gas, wood, propane, or other fuel.
Buy a CO detector and place it in an area near the source of CO. Make sure to change the batteries regularly.
Don’t fall asleep or sit for a long time in an idling car that’s in an enclosed space.
Don’t sleep near a gas or kerosene space heater.
Don’t ignore symptoms of CO poisoning.