Carbon Monoxide Exposure


What is carbon monoxide exposure? Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that you cannot see, taste, or smell. Carbon monoxide exposure happens when you breathe in CO gas. You can be poisoned by exposure to high levels of CO. Patients with mild poisoning usually recover completely with oxygen treatment. Severe poisoning can cause permanent brain injury or be life-threatening.

Where is CO found? CO may come from any of the following sources:

Who is at increased risk of CO poisoning?

What are the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning?

How is CO poisoning diagnosed? Your caregiver will examine you and ask about your symptoms. Tell him if anyone you live or work with has similar signs and symptoms, including pets. Tell him if you use home heating devices that burn gas, oil, wood, or other fuel. He may need to know if you have used gas-powered tools, paints, or varnishes recently. You may also need more than one of the following:

How is CO poisoning treated? You may need more than one of the following:

What are the risks of CO poisoning?

How can I prevent CO poisoning?

Where can I find more information?

When should I contact my caregiver? Contact your caregiver if:

When should I seek immediate care? Seek care immediately or call 911 if:


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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