Excess exposure to CO gas results in carbon monoxide poisoning, posing bizarre injuries to brain function, clinical impairment, or even death. Knowing the common symptom of CO initial intoxication will help save lives before you can get medical care involved.
What are symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning? Today’s article includes a brief inquiry into this matter to help you understand it better. Stay tuned!
What Is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Carbon monoxide, or CO, is an odorless, colorless gas that accounts for 100 parts per billion in Earth’s troposphere.
What gives off carbon monoxide in your home? CO is found in fumes from any kind of gasoline engines, fuel-burning heaters, burning charcoal, etc. These appliances are common pieces of equipment in every house. Since it is also in the air, we inhale small amounts of it throughout the day.
However, if the area you’re in has a high CO density, your body starts replacing the O2 that your red blood cells carry with CO. This is when you get CO poisoning.
What Are Symptoms Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Now, you might wonder, “How does carbon monoxide affect the human body?”. It is easy to spot the symptoms of CO poisoning. If you have more than three of the symptoms below, seek medical care immediately.
- Dull headache
- Dizziness and weakness
- Upset stomach
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
Some of these symptoms are quite similar to food poisoning or flu symptoms, which can be subtle. The best way to make sure is to run a blood test; after that, your doctor shall give proper treatment for carbon monoxide based on:
- The time length you were infected
- The CO density of the area you were in
- Your physical state
So, how long does Carbon Monoxide poisoning take to show symptoms? Poisoning signs may appear within 1-2 hours if the CO quantity in the air is substantially greater. Yet, a very high CO concentration can kill a poisoned person within 5 minutes.
Who Is At Risk Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Everybody is at risk of CO poisoning. Nevertheless, unborn babies, infants, pregnant women, seniors, and people who have chronic heart disease are in a more dangerous place if exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide.
Besides these groups, some people also have CO exposure through their jobs, namely firefighters, garage mechanics, welders, etc.
How To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Install A Carbon Monoxide Detector
What are the signs of Carbon Monoxide in a home? A CO detector is the first must-mentioned method. Thus, purchase this device and place it somewhere close to your bed so you can hear its alarm.
It is recommended to buy one with a digital reach out to detect the highest CO density in your home more effectively. Also, replace your detector every five years.
Carry Out An Annual Inspection
The best time to do this is when a new heating season starts. Hire a professional to service the fuel-using appliances in your dwelling. If you have a flue and chimney, look carefully for crackings and blockages.
Use Gas Appliances Safely
Together with an annual inspection, you also need to follow the protocol of using fuel and gas-burning equipment, especially gas stoves and charcoal grills.
- Opt for equipment that vents gasses outside. Furthermore, such equipment ought to be properly set up and maintained.
- Be sure to operate your kerosene space or unvented gas heater with the proper fuel. Using the wrong kind will not only make the appliance wear down faster but also pose risks of misfires.
- If odd odors are detected, it is best to call a professional to do an inspection. Usually, this is the case of a CO leak.
- DO NOT patch a vent pipe with tape or gum. It may stop the leaking temporarily but might cause CO to build up inside the home.
How To Treat CO Poisoning?
Of course, it is best to receive treatment from doctors. However, emergency medical treatment is sometimes needed for life-threatening situations.
The first thing you’d want to do is to remove the poisoned person from the CO dense area. If they are unconscious, check for injuries before moving. If they show no signs of breathing, begin CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation); the ambulance may take more than a few minutes to get there.
Now that you know the first aid for this situation, below are some of the treatments you’re likely to get once you’re at the hospital.
- Oxygen treatment: The patient needs pure oxygen to make up for the loss of O2 in their blood and remove the CO.
- Oxygen chamber: More severe situations require placing the patient in a full-body, high-pressure chamber (hyperbaric oxygen therapy) to force oxygen into the body. The oxygen chamber poses twice as much pressure as the atmospheric pressure.
What are symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning? You ought to have the answer by now. CO poisoning is very dangerous if left untreated, so you should follow the safety guidelines to prevent carbon monoxide from ever happening.