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Common causes of Carbon Monoxide poisoning include:
PREVENTION: Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors can make a difference in your home. But if such devices are not properly maintained they won’t make a difference.
One of the most serious situations for carbon monoxide poisoning is in space heaters in apartments or hotel rooms. Stand alone heating units also include on the wall heating systems that you find in a high percentage of hotel rooms.
When in a hotel room with an older type system check to see if there is a carbon monoxide detector in the room. Travelling with a portable carbon monoxide detector is a good plan as only a few states have a law requiring CO detectors in hotels, and none in all rooms. Hotels
WARNING: Older ski resorts have a poor safety record for carbon monoxide poisoning so be particularly cautious when staying at ski resorts.
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CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING SYMPTOMS:
The early symptoms (headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, confusion, disorientation, and visual disturbances) also have to be emphasized, especially if they recur with a regular periodicity or in the same environment. Complications occur frequently in CO poisoning. Immediate death is most likely cardiac in origin because myocardial tissues are most sensitive to the hypoxic effects of CO. Severe poisoning results in marked hypotension, lethal arrhythmias, and electrocardiographic changes. Pulmonary edema may occur. Neurological manifestation of acute CO poisoning includes disorientation, confusion, and coma. Perhaps the most insidious effect of CO poisoning is the development of delayed neuropsychiatric impairment within 2 - 28 days after poisoning and the slow resolution of neurobehavioral consequences. Carbon monoxide poisoning during pregnancy results in high risk for the mother by increasing the short-term complication rate and for the fetus by causing fetal death, developmental disorders, and chronic cerebral lesions.
Early Symptoms. The first symptoms are often the headache, nausea and dizziness. The more the exposure, the more severe the symptoms become. Winter Heart Attack Mental status can be changed, confusion, memory problems. Obviously, difficulty staying awake is not only clearly symptomatic, it is DANGEROUS, BECAUSE ONCE YOU ARE ASLEEP, THERE IS NO CHANCE TO GET HELP.
Heart Symptoms. Potential cardiovascular symptoms are varied. They begin with tachycardia - an increase in heart rate (rapid heart beat). This is in response to insufficient oxygen and nutrients getting to the muscles of the heart (hypoxia.) Hypotension (a drop in blood pressure) with possible syncope (fainting) can also occur. The fainting occurs as there is not enough blood or oxygen getting to the brain to maintain consciousness. Dysrhythmia’s (an irregular heart beat) and other heart issues, including heart attacks, can also occur.
Dysrhythmia can cause more severe problems, which could result in death, even quicker than the asphyxiation type exposure might. CO exposure also makes underlying heart conditions worse, and it is particularly dangerous for someone with coronary heart disease. Even those with undiagnosed heart problems can be at risk, because CO is an added cardiac stressor and may bring on the first severe symptoms of the disease.
Kidney Failure. Carbon monoxide can also cause kidney failure.
Unborn Babies. As with most toxins, it is much more dangerous to unborn babies. It can result in still birth, deformity and neurologic abnormalities. Even so any signs of these symptoms in a pregnant woman in an environment suspicious for carbon monoxide exposure, should call for immediate action. Even in a pregnant mother who is only mildly symptomatic, the effects on the unborn baby may be severe.
Yet as dangerous as these immediate affects are, it is the evolution of the delayed effects that sometimes have the worst outcome, in those who survive the toxic event.
The symptoms of CO poisoning include the following:
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