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Carbon Monoxide Heart Attacks
Known as the “Silent Killer”, carbon monoxide delivers a
dangerous and often fatal outcome. This poisonous gas is tasteless, odorless,
and invisible, making it almost impossible to detect without properly
installed carbon monoxide detectors, be it in your home or office. At
low levels, the deadly gas can cause flu-like symptoms such as vomiting,
nausea, headaches, and shortness of breath, but at high levels, it can
induce a coma, cause brain damage, and trigger a carbon monoxide heart
can carbon monoxide cause heart attacks?
Carbon monoxide poisoning interferes
with the blood’s natural ability to carry
oxygen to the internal organs, including the
heart. While this alone can cause serious illness
(in some cases death), recent studies published
in American Emergency Medicine have shown that
carbon monoxide can cause direct damage to the
heart muscle. Such damage reduces the heart’s
capability to pump, and can permanently impair
cardiac functionality. According to lead author
Selim Suner, M.D., M.S., who is the director
of emergency preparedness and disaster medicine
at Rhode Island Hospital, “These findings
suggest that heart damage caused by carbon monoxide
may have long-lasting effects even after its
been eliminated from the blood, making the diagnosis
of carbon monoxide poisoning even more critical.”
What can you do?
The key to minimizing the risk of carbon
monoxide poisoning and a carbon monoxide heart
attack is prevention. The most significant act
of precaution is the installation of carbon
monoxide detectors throughout your home and
place of work.
Some important things to remember:
- Place all generators outside and away from
windows to ensure that no carbon monoxide
seeps into your house or work office.
- Never leave your car’s engine running
in the garage as this may cause carbon monoxide
emissions to enter your home.
- Have all your major appliances inspected
by a professional to validate that they are
not emitting carbon monoxide and are operating
with high safety standards.