Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Acute carbon monoxide poisoning is a well recognised medical emergency. Carbon monoxide displaces oxygen from the blood stream so oxygen delivery is severely impaired or cut off with all the problems that arise from that. Diagnosis is often missed - one has to think of it!

Chronic carbon monoxide poisoning

Actually this is a misnomer. Carbon monoxide rapidly clears from the blood once the source of the poisoning has been removed. Chronic CO poisoning is actually chronic poisoning from burnt hydrocarbons.

The symptoms of such chronic poisoning, whatever the poison, in the longer term are very similar. So in an individual patient clinically it would be impossible to distinguish the symptoms of chronic carbon monoxide/hydrocarbon poisoning fromsick building syndrome, sheep dip fu, Gulf War Syndrome or whatever.

The approach to treatment is the same - ie identify and remove the cause, then see Chemical poisoning - general principles of diagnosis and treatment

See also MCS - a possible explanation for hypersensitivity symptoms.

Chronic carbon monoxide poisoning - "NOT QUITE THE WHOLE STORY"‎ by Gareth Hughes. This gives details about how CO poisoning is not just about CO but also poisoning from burnt hydrocarbons.


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