What is carbon monoxide poisoning?



What is carbon monoxide poisoning?

CO poisoning is intoxication due to inhalation of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide (hereinafter referred to as CO) is a poisonous, colorless gas, odorless, non-irritating to the skin and eyes but extremely dangerous. CO in the air can be inhaled and absorbed through the lungs easily. CO combines with hemoglobin in red blood better than oxygen, thereby causing less oxygen reaching body tissues more.

How common is carbon monoxide poisoning?

Anyone could be from CO poisoning by inhalation. But workers in the factories closed, fire-prone areas, infants, the elderly, people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or dyspnea would risk greater toxicity.


What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

The common symptoms of CO poisoning are often quite similar to other diseases, such as influenza. These include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vision problems
  • Environment redness
  • Bluish limbs
  • Bleeding behind the eye (retina)

The change of mind include drowsiness, coma.

You may experience fainting or even killed if inhaled too much carbon monoxide. The victims of carbon monoxide poisoning while sleeping or intoxicated can die without any symptoms whatsoever.

There may be other symptoms and signs are not mentioned. If you have any questions about these signs, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you or a loved one has signs and symptoms mentioned above, or have any questions or concerns, please consult your doctor. Geomechanics and intoxication can vary in many people. Always discuss with your doctor to be appointed diagnostic methods, treatment and the best treatment for you.


What causes carbon monoxide poisoning?

Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels are not completely burned. When there is too much carbon dioxide in the air, your body will absorb carbon dioxide instead of oxygen, leading to carbon monoxide poisoning. CO emissions sources mainly include: furnace, exhaust from motor vehicles, wood stoves, kerosene heaters and gas heaters. Inhaled too much smoke from a fire can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for carbon monoxide poisoning?

Factors that may cause you to face with CO poisoning include:

  • Use an outdoor grill to grill indoors.
  • Work with engines and machines in an enclosed space increase the risk of CO poisoning.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

What are your treatment options for carbon monoxide poisoning?

To treat carbon monoxide poisoning, the first victim to be taken out of the contaminated area CO. Then the victim should be breathing air (at 100% oxygen in the air) to improve oxygen levels in the body. In severe cases, may need to use a ventilator to carry oxygen to the body.

An alternative treatment method is high-pressure oxygen therapy. This therapy will help increase the amount of dissolved oxygen in the blood. Your doctor will use high-pressure oxygen therapy for those with carboxy-hemoglobin levels higher than 40%, who are comatose or unconscious, pregnant women have higher levels of carbon 15%.

What are the most common tests for Carbon monoxide poisoning?

Your doctor can diagnose CO poisoning caused by circumstances poisoning symptoms and clinical examination. Your doctor may order more blood tests to ensure accurate diagnosis.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage carbon monoxide poisoning?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Stay away from the garage closed with operating machinery.
  • Check and maintain proper water heater, gas stove, fireplace or any device running on gas, oil and coal in the home frequently.
  • Set the alarm level of carbon monoxide in the home and at work.
  • Only buy appliances using gas (gas stove, fireplace, …) in the prestigious company.
  • Check and clean the chimney every year.
  • Never use the gas stove or oven to heat because they can cause carbon monoxide buildup in your home.
  • Never burn charcoal indoors because burning charcoal produces the carbon dioxide.

Never use a generator indoor, basement, and garage or from windows, doors, vents less than 6 meters.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: February 3, 2017

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