Carbon monoxide poisoning

Photo by Landon Parenteau on Unsplash

Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide (CO) is released during incomplete combustion of fuel, as well as any other organic matter. This gas is produced by combustion in an oxygen-deficient environment. In the open air, carbon monoxide dissipates quickly, while in closed rooms with a lack of oxygen, it can accumulate in large quantities.

The main danger of carbon monoxide is that it enters the bloodstream through the lungs, where it binds strongly to hemoglobin and prevents oxygen from binding to hemoglobin. This leads to oxygen starvation of tissues and organs.

Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless and cannot be noticed. The victim may not pay attention to the first signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – weakness, yawning, drowsiness. Weakness increases with increasing carbon monoxide concentration. Against the background of weakness, you want to sleep, which can be very dangerous and fatal.

Carbon monoxide, firmly connected with hemoglobin, causes hypoxia (oxygen starvation) of brain cells, as a result of which lethargy, drowsiness develops, which are joined by headache, nausea, and vomiting. Long-term inhalation of carbon monoxide in some cases can lead to heart failure, myocardial infarction, stroke, and severe poisoning – convulsions, coma, and death.

First aid for carbon monoxide poisoning
It is very important to provide first aid to the victim in time. Necessary:

  • Immediately take the victim out of the room into the fresh air, and if this is not possible, put on a gas mask or give an oxygen cushion;
  • Facilitate breathing, if necessary, clear the respiratory tract of mucus, vomit, unfasten tight clothing, lay on its side in order to prevent tongue retraction;
  • Stimulate breathing, give ammonia. Warm hands and feet at low air temperatures.
  • It is important to immediately call an ambulance even if the person, in your opinion, is in a satisfactory condition. Timely medical assistance will prevent complications that may develop later.
  • In a serious condition, it is necessary to independently carry out resuscitation measures – artificial respiration and indirect heart massage.
  • Immediately take the victim out of the room into the fresh air, and if this is not possible, put on a gas mask or give an oxygen cushion;
  • Facilitate breathing, if necessary, clear the respiratory tract of mucus, vomit, unfasten tight clothing, lay on its side in order to prevent tongue retraction;
  • Stimulate breathing, give ammonia. Warm hands and feet at low air temperatures.

Carbon monoxide poisoning treatments
In case of carbon monoxide poisoning, urgent hospitalization is required in all cases. Already in stationary conditions, oxygen therapy is carried out using the supply of an oxygen mixture. In order to remove toxins from the body, the patient is prescribed an intravenous infusion of special solutions. To reduce the symptoms of poisoning, prescribe drugs that support the work of the heart, vitamins, and, if necessary, anticonvulsant drugs.

Prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning
In order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, the following rules must be followed:

  • You should not use faulty gas stoves, fireplaces, stoves, and electrical appliances;
  • Regularly check the health of the ventilation system, clean the chimney;
  • Do not stay near highways for a long time;
  • Always turn off the engine in a garage, tunnel, or when in a car for a long time;
  • Do not sleep in a car with the engine running.
  • At the slightest suspicion of carbon monoxide poisoning – ventilate the room, go out into the fresh air. Do not go to bed if you feel weak, sleepy, dizzy, have headaches, or have nausea.
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