A guide to carbon monoxide...

Carbon monoxide poisoning
Risk factors for ongoing effects from poisoning

Ongoing symptoms and effects from carbon monoxide poisoning is a risk for anyone that has been exposed to unsafe levels of carbon monoxide.

People respond differently to the same level of exposure. The relationship between symptoms, carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) in the bloodstream, levels of carbon monoxide in the air, and ongoing effects is not precise.

Symptoms and after effects of poisoning can range from mild to severe in people with the same level of exposure.

However, the following factors may increase the likelihood of short term symptoms and effects and long term effects caused by poisoning damage:

  • The length of time high levels of carbon monoxide remain in the body/bloodstream.

  • The higher the level of carbon monoxide in the body/bloodstream.

  • Anyone exposed multiple times to low levels of carbon monoxide (chronic CO poisoning).

  • Someone engaged in higher levels of physical activity while breathing unsafe levels of carbon monoxide (someone doing physical work, exercising, or if the poisoning itself triggered physical convulsions).

  • A person resuscitated from unconsciousness due to CO poisoning.

  • A person knocked or rendered unconsciousness one or more times prior to carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Anyone physically vulnerable and less able to recover: infants, elderly, sick, heavy smokers.

  • If a woman is pregnant, the fetus is at higher risk of effects from carbon monoxide poisoning. It takes longer to eliminate carbon monoxide from the fetus's blood than from the mother's blood.

  • People with a history of: circulatory problems, respiratory problems, heart disease, anaemia, cellular weakness, weak constitution, concussions, or brain injury.

  • Carbon monoxide poisonings have been lethal for people with [severe] heart disease at levels of 10 to 30% in the blood, while lethal poisonings are typically 50 to 60% and higher.

  • Carbon monoxide in cigarettes and tobacco smoke causes smokers to have above average levels of carbon monoxide in their blood stream. Smokers are at higher risk of more severe symptoms and ongoing effects.

  • Altitude. The higher the altitude, the less oxygen in the air to compete with the carbon monoxide.

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Carbon Monoxide poisoning in infants.
Mayla Smith from Callifornia
When my children were 3 yrs, 2 yrs, and 8 mos old, they all suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning. Our vehicle was stuck in the snow and the car filled with fumes because the muffler was also under the snow. I didn't realize what was happening until my 2 yr old son started saying his arm hurt, then fell off the back seat. My 3 yr old daughter was saying she hurt too. My 8 mo old daughter was in the front seat next to me, I'm not sure, (i freaked out), but I think she passed out in front of me. I scrambled out the driver's door, pulling my baby with me, screaming for my husband. He was looking for help. I pulled my other 2 children out of the back and sat in the snow with all of them on my lap.
Of course, there was nobody around and we were over 2 miles up a country road, which was another 8 miles off of the nearest highway. We found a sled and pulled the kids in it. My baby would not wake up, she was breathing ok, but I could not wake her up. She was unconscious for over 4 hours. Now she's 29 and having a lot of physical problems, always has, but they're getting a lot more serious. Can anyone give me any information at all? jtntdmw@yahoo.com. Thank-You Mayla Smith

HAIR LOSS
Karen from England
I kept wondering if it was cmp that I had suffered but every site I looked at did not have hair loss as a symptom so I did not think it was but something kept telling me that it was what I was suffering so I kept looking at different web sites an the symptoms of cmp and bingo found this site which confirmed my suspicions Hair Loss, thank you now I don't feel as if I am being stupid.

Finally a good site
Jerome
Excellent website on the subject of CO poisoning. Truly head and shoulders above anything else I have seen. Thank you!

Donovan
Excellent info. Great site.

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