Signs and Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Every year, thousands of people are rushed to area hospitals with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas. When a person inhales carbon monoxide, it prevents blood from transporting oxygen. It also prevents the body’s tissues from using oxygen efficiently. In small amounts, carbon monoxide is typically not dangerous. Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when levels of carbon monoxide become to high within the blood.

It is possible to get carbon monoxide poisoning from a variety of different places including improperly vented vehicles, faulty furnaces, water heaters, gas heaters, and stoves. Tobacco smoke also contains carbon monoxide, but it is usually not enough to result in carbon monoxide poisoning.



Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning range from mild to severe and include headache. nausea, vomiting, drowsiness and poor coordination. Severe symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include confusion, unconsciousness, shortness of breath, chest pains, and in some cases coma and death.

Prompt treatment for someone who may be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning is crucial. Most of the time, a person with a mild case of carbon monoxide poisoning will recover fairly quickly when they are moved to fresh air. People who have moderate to severe cases of carbon monoxide poisoning are often unconscious and not able to remove themselves from the home. Severe carbon monoxide poisoning is often fatal.



Carbon monoxide poisoning in the home is extremely dangerous, because at first glance, the symptoms mirror the common cold or flu.

The only way to determine if a person is suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning is through a blood test that measures the level of carbon monoxide in the blood.

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