Topic Overview

What is carbon monoxide poisoning?

Carbon monoxide poisoning happens when you breath too much carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a gas produced by burn any kind of fuel—gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal. What makes this gas therefore dangerous is that when you breath it, that replaces the oxygen in your blood. There is no oxygen, cell throughout the human body die, and also the organs protect against working.

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You can"t see, smell, or taste carbon monoxide. Yet if you breath too much of it, that can come to be deadly in ~ minutes. For this reason be sure you know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, what to perform if you have the symptoms, and how to save it native happening.

What causes carbon monoxide poisoning?

Carbon monoxide deserve to come from any resource that burns fuel. Usual sources are cars, fireplaces, powerboats, woodstoves, kerosene space heaters, charcoal grills, and also gas appliances such as water heaters, ovens, and also dryers. Generally they cause no problems. Trouble comes when:

Cars, trucks, or various other engines space left to run in attached spaces, such together garages. Carbon monoxide can build up in a garage and leak earlier into the house. Even sitting in one idling car in an open garage can be dangerous. A motorboat or jet ski that is idling or working at a slow speed deserve to be dangerous come a swimmer or someone gift pulled. Fuel-burning appliances room not set up or provided properly. Dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can build up within houses and other buildings. Fuel-burning heater systems and appliances are used during cold weather, when doors and also windows are closed. Chimneys in older buildings come to be blocked and also release fumes right into the dwellings or offices. Newer residences that space well insulated and tightly sealed deserve to trap carbon monoxide inside.

What space the symptoms?

Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

Headache. Dizziness. Nausea.

As carbon monoxide builds up in her blood, symptoms get worse and also may include:

Confusion and also drowsiness. Fast breathing, rapid heartbeat, or chest pain.. Vision problems. Seizures.

If you have actually symptoms the you think might be resulted in by carbon monoxide poisoning, leave the area ideal away, and also call 911 or go to the emergency room. If you store breathing the fumes, you might pass out and also die.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur suddenly or over a long duration of time. Breathing short levels of carbon monoxide over a long period can reason severe heart problems and brain damage. Check out a medical professional if:

You often are short of breath and also have soft nausea and headaches when you space indoors. You feel far better when you leaving the building and worse when you return. Other civilization you occupational or live with have actually the very same symptoms girlfriend do.

How is carbon monoxide poisoning diagnosed?

It deserve to be tough to recognize if you have carbon monoxide poisoning. The same symptoms have the right to be caused by flu or various other problems. In the winter months, doctors might suspect carbon monoxide poisoning in human being who complain of significant headache, nausea, or dizziness. This is particularly true if other household members or coworkers have actually the same symptoms. Even pets in the residence may gain sick.

If your physician suspects carbon monoxide poisoning, the or she deserve to order a blood test that actions the lot of carbon monoxide in her blood. Friend may have actually other blood test to check your in its entirety health and to watch for difficulties caused by carbon monoxide.

How is it treated?

The finest treatment is oxygen therapy. Breathing pure oxygen can carry the oxygen level in the blood earlier to normal. There space two kinds of oxygen therapy:

100% oxygen therapy. Because that this treatment, you breath oxygen v a mask. This is the most common treatment. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy. For this treatment, friend lie within a chamber the delivers oxygen under high pressure. This conveniently reduces carbon monoxide levels in the blood.

With rapid treatment, most civilization recover within a couple of days. However long-term troubles can present up later. Be sure to tell her doctor about any changes in vision, coordination, or behavior that take place in the weeks ~ treatment.

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How deserve to you prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?

Many civilization die annually from inadvertently carbon monoxide poisoning. There space some easy actions you deserve to take to mitigate your risk. Among the most important is to check out a physician right far if girlfriend think you have symptoms.

Safe use of vehicles

perform not leave your vehicle running in the garage, also if the garage door is open. Execute not journey in the ago of a pickup truck v a camper shell. Carry out not swim close to a watercraft or jet ski the is idling. Do not swim near or be pulled behind a watercraft or jet ski the is operating at a slow speed. Execute not sit in a running car or truck if the tailpipe is blocked v snow or mud.

Safe usage of fuel-burning tools and also appliances

have actually all fuel-burning appliances (such together oil or gas heaters, stoves, water heaters, and space heaters, fireplaces, and also woodstoves) inspected every year. Check chimneys, flues, and also vents on regular basis to make certain they space in good shape, appropriately connected, and not blocked. Never use a kerosene or propane heater in an enclosed area, such as a camper, motor home, trailer, or tent. Never use a gas or charcoal grill indoors. Never use a gas stove to heat your home. Execute not nearby a fireplace or cooktop damper before the fire is fully out. Execute not use gas-powered generators, lawn equipment, or engines in fastened areas.

Carbon monoxide detectors

think about putting carbon monoxide detectors in your residence near resting areas. If you install a detector, monitor the direction closely. Know what to do if the alert sounds. Know that carbon monoxide detectors space a backup safety measure. They do not replace the require to check appliances regularly and use them safely.