Carbon Monoxide

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of injury and death from poisoning worldwide. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about carbon monoxide in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas produced from burning fuels such as natural gas, gasoline, fuel oil or wood.

Carbon monoxide poisoning develops when you inhale carbon monoxide. It binds to red blood cells about 250 times more strongly than oxygen. As oxygen in the blood is displaced by carbon monoxide, the bodys organs and tissueswhich depend on oxygencannot work properly.

Dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can come from many sources, including heating systems, car engines, boat motors, cooking appliances or fires. The exhaust from cars can reach dangerous levels in an enclosed area such as a garage and can leak back into the house.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, dizziness or nausea. If the exposure continues, you may lose consciousness and die. Exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide over a prolonged time can cause severe heart and brain damage. If you suspect someone has carbon monoxide poisoning, remove him from the source and contact emergency services immediately.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.