Carbon monoxide is a silent killer as it cannot be seen or smelled, and knowing the signs of CO poisoning can be tricky — most people are not even aware of the symptoms of poisoning. This is the very reason why informing yourself is a significant preventative measure as CO poisoning can happen anywhere.
What is Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning?
Breathing in a large amount of carbon monoxide gas is what causes CO poisoning, and this can vary from mild to severe. And severe poisoning can lead to death.
This gas is produced by any kind of burning fuel such as burning wood, charcoal, kerosene, oil, and more. This can be dangerous as the gas would be carried by the blood, replacing oxygen. And without adequate oxygen in it will cause the organs to eventually malfunction causing death.
You cannot see or smell the gas, and this what makes the gas very insidious. You can die from just minutes of exposure. What are the signs of CO poisoning, what are the things you can do to avoid worsening the symptoms, and how to prevent it?
There are potential sources of CO leak such as a heater, wood stove, grills, gas appliance, charcoal, and any kind of source that burns fuel. These materials usually cause no harm unless there are issues like the following:
- Fuel-burning appliances that are improperly installed. When your appliances have issues, they are a potential source of CO. Ensure that you fix them immediately. Appliance repair in Irving TX always available at your service. Do not prolong the action time and call them right away if you are in the area.
- Mobile engines that are left running in the garage produce a good amount of CO that can poison anyone. The gas can leak inside the house causing harm.
- Appliances and heating systems used during winter in an enclosed house — closed windows and doors. Houses that properly and tightly insulated potentially trap CO gas inside them.
The symptoms of CO poisoning include the following:
If the build-up prolongs over time, this may lead to:
- Fast heartbeat and chest pain
- Vision problems
If you notice these symptoms, it is important that you take action as soon as you can to prevent further damage to your body. Leave the exposed place and rush to the hospital right away. Severe exposure needs immediate medical attention as the person can die within minutes. Little but longer exposure leads to long-term physical conditions. Whether severe or prolonged, it is important to leave the place and seek medical help.
Oxygen therapy is the most used method of treating CO poisoning in order to bring back oxygen to your blood and body. Oxygen therapy can be done in two methods and are classified into: hyperbaric oxygen therapy and 100% oxygen therapy. The former requires you to breathe in oxygen by wearing a mask and is considered to be the most common method used. The latter requires a chamber where the patient would lie inside. The chamber would then supply oxygen at high pressure. In this method, the CO gas is removed as soon as possible.