A Guide to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Guide to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (CO Poisoning)

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Health Effects




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Hyperbaric Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen was originally used to treat decompression sickness in scuba and deep-sea divers. Ascending from water can cause nitrogen gas bubbles to form in the lungs, tissues and bloodstream. When blood flow blockage or damage to the blood vessels occurs hyperbaric oxygen is used to neutralize the effects of nitrogen within the body.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has since been successfully used in treating victims of severe CO poisoning as well many other health conditions including the following.

  • Crush Injuries
  • Bullet wounds
  • Anemia
  • Foot ulcers
  • Intracranial Abscess
  • Soft Tissue Infections
  • Bone Infections
  • Burns
  • Radiation Therapy Complications
  • Skin Grafts

Effects of CO Poisoning

  • CO molecules bind themselves to red blood cells blocking the delivery of oxygen to blood vessels.
  • These molecules can stay attached for quite some time and cause extensive physical damage and in many cases even death.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a powerful treatment that can heal all bodily tissues including skin, muscle or bone. It is the fastest and most efficient method of reversing the potentially life-threatening effects of CO poisoning.

  • Increases oxygen flow within the tissues
  • Accelerates the clearance of CO from the body and restores oxygen.
  • Prevents toxic effects on the central nervous system and blood vessels.
  • Promotes faster healing

Treatment for CO Poisoning

  • A patient with mild CO poisoning would normally receive 100% oxygen through a high-flow or non-rebreathing mask.
  • When CO poisoning is severe or symptoms persist after four to six hours of oxygen treatment hyperbaric oxygen therapy is necessary.

Hyperbaric Therapy Procedure
Patients who undergo this type of treatment are placed in a chamber of pressurized oxygen that becomes 2-3 times greater than normal. This allows the skin and lungs to absorb more concentrated oxygen in a shorter period of time.

For more on hyperbaric therapy, see Hyperbaric Medicine Unit



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