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Carbon monoxide poisoning

Also known as Carbon Monoxide Toxicity

Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs after enough inhalation of carbon monoxide (CO). Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas, but, being colorless, odorless, tasteless, and initially non-irritating, it is very difficult for people to detect. Carbon monoxide is a product of incomplete combustion of organic matter due to insufficient oxygen supply to enable complete oxidation to carbon dioxide (CO2). It is often produced in domestic or industrial settings by older motor vehicles and other gasoline-powered tools, heaters, and cooking equipment. Exposures at 100 ppm or greater can be dangerous to human health.

Source: Wikipedia

What are the symptoms?

Within all the people who go to their doctor with carbon monoxide poisoning, 81% report having headache, 72% report having nausea, and 53% report having dizziness. The symptoms that are highly suggestive of carbon monoxide poisoning are frontal headache, low back weakness, emotional symptoms, and elbow cramps or spasms, although you may still have carbon monoxide poisoning without those symptoms.


What might my doctor prescribe?

Common Tests and Procedures

Patients with carbon monoxide poisoning often receive hematologic tests, arterial blood gases (abgs), glucose measurement, electrocardiogram, kidney function tests, cardiac enzymes measurement, blood alcohol and toxicology screen .

Common Medications

The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with carbon monoxide poisoning include oxygen, simethicone (degas), chlorpheniramine / phenindamine / phenylpropanolamine, mecamylamine, grepafloxacin (raxar), malathion topical, gemtuzumab (mylotarg), gadoteridol (prohance), carbinoxamine / dextromethorphan / phenylephrine, devil's claw preparation, isocarboxazid (marplan), medrysone ophthalmic and magnesium lactate .

Who is at risk?

Groups of people at highest risk for carbon monoxide poisoning include age 5-14 years, age 1-4 years and race/ethnicity = black. On the other hand, age 75+ years and age 60-74 years almost never get carbon monoxide poisoning.

Age

< 1 years
1.1x
1-4 years
2.7x
5-14 years
2.7x
15-29 years
1.1x
30-44 years
1.3x
45-59 years
0.7x
60-74 years
0.0x
75+ years
0.0x

Sex

Male
1.2x
Female
0.9x

Race/Ethnicity

Black
1.6x
Hispanic
1.4x
White
0.8x
Other
0.7x
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