Poisoning- Carbon Monoxide

Poisoning - Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Causes

Carbon monoxide is formed in the air when organic compounds burn. The most common sources are from motor vehicle exhaust, smoke from fires, engine fumes, and nonelectric heaters. Carbon monoxide poisoning is frequently associated with malfunctioning or obstructed exhaust systems.

Sources of carbon monoxide can include but aren’t limited to:

• Gas water heaters
• Kerosene space heaters
• Charcoal grills
• Propane heaters and stoves
• Gasoline and diesel powered generators
• Cigarette smoke
• Propane-fueled forklifts
• Gasoline powered concrete saws
• Indoor tractor pulls
• Boats engines
• Spray paint, solvents, degreasers, and paint removers
• Smoke inhalation from a wildfire

Risks for exposure to carbon monoxide can include:

• Children riding in the back of enclosed pickup trucks (particularly high risk)
• Industrial workers at pulp mills, steel foundries, and plants producing formaldehyde or coke (a hard grey fuel)
• Personnel at fire scenes
• 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
• Improper boat ventilation

Carbon monoxide is a byproducts created from burning objects and other materials during a fire; and it's the leading cause of death from smoke inhalation during a fire. Even cigarette smoke is a source of carbon monoxide.

Signs and symptoms that you've inhaled too much smoke include:

• Cough
• Shortness of breath
• Hoarseness or noisy breathing
• Irritated eyes

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 sporadically checked until they are low enough to safely send the patient home. However, in severe poisoning, if available, a hyperbaric pressure chamber might 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.

First Aid Brisbane

Poisoning by Carbon Monoxide

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