Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
while in the body/bloodstream
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning while in the body/bloodstream can be so varied and mimic
so many common health issues that "making the link" to carbon monoxide exposure as the source of the problem is
almost always missed.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning have "tell tale signs" but identifying carbon monoxide exposure as the
source of symptoms is not as obvious as it may seem.
When a healthy person is exposed to a low level of CO, they typically begin to have trouble concentrating. Other
early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning typically show up as a person becomes somewhat uncoordinated, feels
quite tired, and/or has a mild headache.
Then the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning get stronger as flu-like, food-poisoning-like, or
alcohol-poisoning-like symptoms: headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness,
exhaustion, mild incoherence, blurred vision, and brain fog.
The problem is, the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can also have any number of more common causes.
Making the connection to carbon monoxide exposure as the source of "symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning"
is much less likely with less obvious cases (the majority of all cases) such as:
Accurately identifying the link to carbon monoxide exposure as the source of "symptoms of carbon monoxide
poisoning" is more likely when:
In comparison to other health issues, the awareness and number of cases of carbon monoxide poisoning is low.
This commonly results in the wrong diagnosis
by health professionals in emergency rooms, clinics, and doctors offices. Health professionals just don't know enough about carbon monoxide
Awareness in the public about the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning is also low. Unless the circumstances of
poisoning are completely obvious, victims seldom
identify the cause of their symptoms.
Tragically, it is quite common for [significant] additional damage to occur to a victim while they are in an
emergency room or clinic with elevated levels of carbon
monoxide still flowing in their blood stream - something that could quickly and easily be treated by giving them oxygen and/or placing them in a
Carbon monoxide reacts with hemoglobin (Hb) in red blood cells and forms carboxyhemoglobin (COHb). This is expressed as a percentage of red blood cells carrying carbon monoxide.
The relationship between symptoms, percent carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) in the bloodstream, and levels of CO in
the air is not precise.
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