A guide to carbon monoxide...

Why is diagnosis of carbon monoxide poisoning so difficult?

Diagnosis of carbon monoxide poisoning is technically straightforward but in reality is difficult to identify.

Testing to see if an unsafe level of carbon monoxide is in the bloodstream is easy. There are several carbon monoxide tests that can provide the answer.

However, making the connection to carbon monoxide poisoning as the source of the underlying symptoms and health issues is the real problem. Few people think to ask the right questions that would lead to a proper diagnosis. Strange as it would seem, this is not as obvious as people may think.

Often, the first symptoms of carbon monoxide toxicity while in the body/bloodstream show up as flu like, food poisoning like, or alcohol poisoning like symptoms: headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, exhaustion, mild incoherence, blurred vision, difficulty concentrating, and brain fog. Any of these can easily lead to the wrong diagnosis.

It is even more difficult to "prove" that ongoing symptoms, effects and health issues are caused by previous carbon monoxide exposure/poisoning(s). Once CO levels in the body/bloodstream have returned to normal it can be [very] difficult to get a confirmed diagnosis.

Doctors and health practitioners are reluctant to make a definite diagnosis based on vague symptoms and circumstances they have no way of confirming. Unfortunately, this can make health and insurance settlement claims [much more] difficult.

As symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be so varied and mimic so many other common health issues, the link to carbon monoxide exposure is almost always missed. This is true of average people and health care professionals alike.

This makes CO poisoning statistics questionable and inaccurate.

A common sign of CO poisoning is that several family members (including pets) are affected. Even when faced with more than one member of a household showing similar symptoms a doctor is much more likely to think of a microbial cause, drug interaction, or even drug overdose.

Missing the connection to carbon monoxide exposure as the source of symptoms is especially true of less obvious cases (which are the bulk of all cases) such as:

Accurately identifying the link to carbon monoxide and then making a proper diagnosis of carbon monoxide poisoning more likely when:

Your comments about carbon monoxide poisoning...

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Questions? Want to share your opinion? Do it here...
I know a family of 6 that lived in a garage for 2 years.
Jose from San Diego, CA
2 adults an 4 minors lived in a garage for 2 years. The children range from New born to age 11. Is there a way to get them tested after six months of living under these conditions and show signs of poison?

my husband recently had an exposure to carbon monoxide from a faulty night heating system to his semi that he was driving.he had been exposed for about 8 hours while off duty. he woke up and went to get out of the truck,nearly falling,eyes bloodshot,very confused and double vision with ghosts,he was taken to the hospital,but o2 level was normal. none of the neurologists and optineurologists can figure this out,and the word palsy keeps popping up,to whether this was related to the exposure,but yet he had no symptoms before this,would like some feed back. help,please!

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