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Carbon monoxide questions

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Questions? Want to share your opinion? Do it here...
Motel risks?
Kathleen Amos from South Dakota
Is a person in a motel with their window or door open at risk of CB poisoning if a motorcycle or car backs into a parking spot and that parking spot in near the door/window?

CO2 Detectors
Rebecca from Georgia
Why are places of employment not required to have detectors, especially in kitchens....

Can a hair analysis be done to detect poisioning?
Rebecca from Georgia
Will the CDC or EPD get involved if contacted?

Low Level exposure?
Shasun from NC
I am very confused. Been exposed to low level exposure. Readings in home, for certain rooms the highest reading was 8.3ppm, while others showed 5ppm. HVAC shut down system. Installing new one. All winter our family has suffered from ill health. I have suffered the most, my room the showing the highest reading, and I'm here all day. Have had a lot of symptoms listed. Also lost sense of smell and taste. Should I have blood checked for co. Or will this small amount of exposure, being exposed for at least 3months or more, is this not as dangerous. Getting mixed information? still having strange feeling in throat and lungs.I do take hight blood pressure medicine. Should I be concerned that my blood has been poisoned with co? Thanks Shasun

Carbon Monoxide
King KOng from China
Is exhaust smoke from the Diesel Generator set is consider one of the Carbon Monoxide?

I'm getting no help.
lisa
How can I prove that I have co poison if no one believes that I do? And I need to talk to someone that can help me.

CRITICAL LESSONS from the heart of a Medical Doctor--2 of 2
Texas Doctor from Dallas, TX
(continuing, sorry hit my char/care limit), but my story is valuable and I wanted to share only the most important elements with you):

2 of 2.

...It also explains why, for days before and weeks AFTER the hospitalization (before I figured all this out on my own) medicine like \"beta blockers\" and even low doses of benzodiazepines (not recommended generally) HAPPENED to help. I knew my heart was under a lot of stress, but we couldn\'t figure out why it was still hurting EVEN THOUGH my cardiac enzymes (and echo AND stress test AND angio were all negative). And why the heart and sob/dyspnea got WORSE with stress. We thought it was \"just a panic attack\" or \"just a heart attack\" (or maybe even a Pulmonary Embolus, which can look similarly). So, what gives? My HEART was bad NOT because the arteries were clogged or because I had some unusual rhythm, but BECAUSE the heart wasn\'t getting enough oxygen, so, the beta blockers and benzo helped since it REDUCED cardiac DEMAND (since we couldn\'t really improve supply at home (without home O2)). So, once I figured this out (and removed the space heaters), ALL THIS FINALLY came together. It was an amazing lesson (for everyone).

In the weeks / months after my hosp, I still wake up in the middle of the night SOB and with chest tightness. I know it\'s the heart beating fast (after usual nightmares) since it\'s not getting the oxygen it normally gets and expects, since the RBCs are poisoned until they die off in 120 days.

I really hope the ER where I went in Dallas learns something from this case too, as I\'ll be sharing my story with them as well. So I REALLY came here to help you guys and anyone that trips across this particular post in the future. LESSONS LEARNED:

1. If you ever have these types of symptoms (notice: I didn\'t have the classic headaches, maybe \'cuz I\'m already on Aspirin every day?), and ESPECIALLY if it\'s winter, LOOK FOR SPACE HEATERS.

2. ENSURE you have CO detector in the SAME room as your space heater.

3. Ensure you REPLACE your CO detectors every 5-7 years (I read this, but didn\'t research it yet fully).

4. If you FEEL like or \"look like\" you\'re having a heart attack, DON\'T JUST LET the ER / hospital kick you out after a (yawn) \"rule out MI\" and your \"troponins (cardiac enzymes) and EKG are negative\"!! Make SURE they also check your damn BLOOD for CARBON MONOXIDE LEVELS IF you have risk factors (there\'s many others, you probably know the list...space heaters are only 1 source) ESP in the winter (presentation-wise I mean).

5. Yes, request the nasal cannula (nasal prongs) or 100% oxygen (this will displace the CO faster).

6. Don\'t expect to magically improve once you go home (whether or not they\'ve diagnosed you correctly!). The symptoms, I\'m learning the hard way, last for probably as long as the RBC life expectancy of 120d, or 4 months).

7. If you DO use space heaters in a room (and they\'re new and you have no symptoms), that\'s fine, BUT BE SURE to air out the room (cross ventilation) frequently). It\'s natural (dangerous) to want to close the door when you go in, and close it when you go out (saving the heat/energy). DANGEROUS!! Pay the extra 20cents to reheat the (hopefully small) room by keeping the door open when you leave, esp if it\'s an older space heater.

8. CO poisoning can look like \"MI\" (heart attack) AND, incidentally PE (Pulmonary Embolus)...which they didn\'t rule out either. Like you, I was just sent home with a \"feel better note\" and follow-up in a week with your doctor. CO poisoning is an EMERGENCY and can kill. No smell, etc, and thus the \"silent killer\".

9. Speaking of which, remember garages as a BIG potential source of CO, if you don\'t have space heaters, ESP if you have a non-electric water heater and/or work on your car/motorcycle (not me!) a lot in your garage, cuz that stuff not only gets in your blood, but drifts into the HOUSE, where your wife and kids are sleeping!

10. Keep the space heater in any/every room where you feel you have risk factors (space heater, garage, etc).

Thanks for the opportunity and I HOPE I\'ve made a difference by posting all this educational info & my personal experience with you.

CRITICAL LESSONS from the heart of a Medical Doctor
Texas Doctor from Dallas, TX
Great site, thanks. I\'m actually a Medical Doctor and wanted to share my story. I was actually the patient this time. I was just shy of passing out many times for days and had been light-headed/dizzy with chest pain / tightness for weeks, and it was always hard to catch my breath. These symptoms are classic for heart attack, arrhythmia, and maybe a couple other things. Well, 2 days in the hospital and $100,000 in bills later (no insurance of course), after an extensive \"Rule out MI\" (rule out heart attack), they sent me home \"heart\'s fine!\" type of diagnosis (like a lot of you, in some ways).

Guess what?? I solved the problem on my own (yeah, a little late for me, but at least I can help you guys). A few weeks later, I figured it out on my own! Here it is:

The ER focused on \"heart attack\" because I had SOB (Shortness of Breath), increasing episodes of presyncope (almost passing out), light-headedness, chest TIGHTNESS, and just dyspnea (difficulty breathing).

Oh yes, I had all the cardiac enzymes x 3, the stress test, the echo, the ANGIOGRAM(!!!), but guess what? They NEVER drew a SIMPLE BLOOD TEST for carbon monoxide level! And, worse, it was the dead of winter and they never even asked me \"do you use SPACE HEATERS?\".

Space heaters (even the \"safe\" ones, I looked mine up and it was \"one of the safe ones\") give off CO. I should write a book on this. I mean I could tell you about points where I was down on my knees trying to breath (yeah, even LONG AFTER the hospitalization where I was \"all clear\"). Why? Cuz I couldn\'t breathe! Why again? Check this out:

You\'ll read a lot on the internet things like \"oh, my levels were normal\", cuz they return to normal after 4-8 hours depending on if you\'re on normal or 100% oxygen\". It\'s all nonsense BECAUSE CO binds to Hgb (hemoglobin, which is in your red cells) 200x STRONGER than O2 (oxygen). So...it \"displaces\" the oxygen (there\'s no room for it on the Hgb). WHY AM I SHARING THIS? It\'s NOT just to save you a LOT of money/debt (by suggesting it to the ER once \"all the tests are normal\" God forbid you or someone you know has similar symptoms), but for this key reason too:

The SYMPTOMS improve signficantly after getting rid of the space heaters (remember winter presentations), BUT THEY LAST ALMOST AS SIGNFICIANTLY (the shortness of breath and dyspnea!!!) as long as 120 days!!! Why? Because 120 days is the life expectancy of RBCs (red blood cells). That MEANS you need to wait for your bone marrow to replenish (produce more) RBCs to replace the ones you have. There\'s a myth: that it all goes away in a few hours. No way! You have to be patient and wait it out. I\'m trying Iron to try and sort of boost my bone marrow to produce more or a little faster. See, all the hemoglobin is POISONED, so those molecules stay. Why did I sometimes feel better dropping to the floor? Because like any gas, there\'s less of it lower down (think firefighters and general \"smoke\" (which contains CO of course)).

I struggled and continue to struggle even driving in the car when I get sob/dyspneic: Do I open the windows or keep them closed. Sometimes I get more air (oxygen basically) but sometimes you just breathe in more exhaust fumes). KEEP YOUR VENTS CLOSED before you park, open your windows once you leave your garage, THEN close them once you get into traffic (the exhaust fumes from the traffic comes right thru the vents). You don\'t NOTICE this stuff UNTIL you\'re suffering the repercussions after the ER / hospitalization. Why? Because your \"oxygen reserves\" are depleted and so you have less of a previously-unappreciated \"oxygen backup. See, when you\'re healthy, you don\'t notice or care about the exhaust coming thru the vents (until \"it stinks\"). Keep in mind, your blood picks it up way faster than your nose.

So, a lot of this explains certain other things, like why I suddenly craved steak (a LOT of iron). Normally, I hardly ever eat or desire steak (or spinach by the way). These are both super high in iron, which is the atom in the CENTER of the Hgb molecule.

It also explains why, for days before and weeks AFTER the hospitalization (before I figured all this out on my own) ... See 2 of 2 here, thanks.

The travel of carbon monoxide
Carol
Can low levels of carbon monoxide over a long period of time travel from room to room, and eventually be around in the whole house that has internally closed hallways, will it travel under gaps in doors through walls and vents?

Do certain Medicines make the human body absorb CO
Ruben Leal from Crosby, Texas 77532
I am a Safety Chief for a Volunteer Fire Department and I have an unsual CO case. A fire fighter was sent to the Hospital becasue his CO levels were reported to be elevated and eventhough he received O2 therapy, his CO level remained high for several hours. Of course what is a high level.

Odor
Nydia from Worcester County, USA
My carbon monoxide alarm went off, the light that says "Move to fresh air". I opened the doors to let fresh air come in. My gas pilot is in & the furnace is working. How can I get rid of the odor. (It's winter & all the windows are shut 24/7.

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