A guide to carbon monoxide...

Carbon monoxide treatment for poisoning while high levels are in the body/blood stream

Rapid carbon monoxide treatment for poisoning can significantly reduce the risk of damage and ongoing effects.

The goal of treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning is to remove carbon monoxide from the hemoglobin (Hb) in the blood and return the level of oxygen in the blood back to normal as quickly as possible.

For immediate treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning, get lots of fresh air. Make sure to get out of the building, vehicle, or area where the carbon monoxide is present or suspected.

Medical treatment usually includes oxygen therapy to treat severe symptoms and to lower carbon monoxide levels in the blood as quickly as possible. It is wise to give oxygen therapy even if poisoning is suspected but not yet confirmed by testing.

Hospitals will usually give oxygen therapy for carbon monoxide poisoning - the most common oxygen therapy involves breathing oxygen through a tight-fitting mask. Fluids and electrolytes may be given to correct imbalances from the breakdown of cellular metabolism.

For severe cases of carbon monoxide poisoning where a person is having difficulty breathing on their own, a breathing machine may be used.

In more serious cases and where available, a person may be given hyperbaric oxygen therapy. During this treatment, the survivor is put into a full-body chamber that uses oxygen under pressure to remove the carbon monoxide faster and restore the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood to normal. The increased pressure of the chamber forces more oxygen into the blood.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat serious cases of carbon monoxide poisoning including people who are or have been unconscious, people with severe symptoms, and pregnant women. Hyperbaric therapy requires special equipment and is usually only available in larger cities/regions (and mostly in developed countries).

Infants, small children, older adults, people with health problems are more severely affected by carbon monoxide in the blood stream. There are other factors that increase the risk of ongoing effects.

If properly diagnosed and carbon monoxide treatment is quick, it is thought that most people have a good likelihood of full recovery without ongoing effects. However, carbon monoxide poisoning statistics are questionable.

People respond differently to the same level of carbon monoxide exposure. Because of this, the after effects from CO poisoning can range from nothing all the way to severe in different people with the same level of exposure.

A person with a relatively low level of exposure could experience long term effects and someone with an extreme level of exposure may have a full recovery. There is no certain way to predict the outcome.

Proper immediate carbon monoxide treatment for poisoning [significantly] lowers the likelihood of ongoing problems but cannot guarantee there will be no additional symptoms or short term effects or long term effects caused by damage.

Medical professionals can learn more about carbon monoxide treatment here.

*** Pregnant woman only: oxygen therapy treatment must be continued for an extended period of time as carbon monoxide remains in the blood of the fetus even after it has returned to normal levels in the mother's blood (another good reason for pregnant women to not smoke).

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duration of flu like symptoms from carbon monoxide
Larry Beeman from Missouri
How long does the nausia last after prolonged exposier to low levels of carbon monoxide? Is there aremedy for the sick stomach feeling?

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