Residential

The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

By January 14, 2020 August 26th, 2020 No Comments

The Dangers of Carbon MonoxideCarbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas that is produced by fumes that contain carbon, such as gasoline, coal, and wood. Intoxication of this gas is a severe illness that transpires when a person breathes in carbon monoxide.

The risk of this poisonous gas is high, especially when a piece of equipment that releases the gas is enclosed in a space with poor ventilation.

Gas poisoning can also occur to victims when they inhale smoke during a fire outbreak. According to research, a third of deaths caused by this gas occur when the victims are asleep. Once the deadly gas is inhaled, it passes from the lungs and pumped into the bloodstream.

Molecules of this gas attach with hemoglobin molecules. Hemoglobin molecules are essential for carrying oxygen. Oxygen molecules can’t attach to hemoglobin molecules already invaded by poisonous gas.

When the victim is exposed to the poisonous gas, it attaches to more hemoglobin molecules. Gradually, the blood loses its ability to transport oxygen around the body. Most of the organs fail to meet the needs of the body since they aren’t supplied with oxygen. With low levels of oxygen, cells suffocate and die.

Several sources can emit this poisonous gas include:
• Cars & Trucks
• Small gasoline engines
• Lanterns
• Stoves
Furnaces
• Gas ranges
• Grills
• Clothes dryer
• Water heaters

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Symptoms depend on the concentration of the gas in the environment. Also, the length and time of exposure determine the symptoms that the victims will experience. If the victim is exposed to high levels of this gas, they can develop the following symptoms:

• Shortness of breath
• Headache
• Personality changes
• Fatigue
• Unusual emotional behavior
• Malaise
• Vision problems
• Dizziness
• Clumsiness
• Impaired judgment and confusion
• Vomiting and nausea
• Chest pain
• Rapid breathing
• A rapid or irregular heartbeat

Without an immediate medical response, a victim loses consciousness, experience seizures, and enters into a coma, and the victim dies. Death occurs after minutes due to exposure in increased levels of poisonous gas or due to extended exposure to lower levels of the deadly gas.

Victims that are exposed to low levels of this poisonous gas over an extended period i.e., weeks and months can lead to symptoms that appear like a headache, flu, malaise, fatigue, vomiting, and nausea.

Victims can also experience vision problems, numbness, impaired memory, and concentration problems.

Diagnosis

If the victim is unconscious, the doctor’s first response is to ensure that the condition is stabilized. The victim is provided with oxygen, given fluids, and treated for seizures. The doctor collects information about the incidence from the emergency team, relatives, loved ones or residents of Clarksville.

This is an essential step for the doctor to clearly understand how the victim inhaled the gas and if there were other toxic gases involved. If the poisoning occurred in an enclosed space, the doctor would want to know the appliance or equipment that was burning and the quality of ventilation in your home.

The doctors will also want to know the duration you were exposed to and whether you improved once you left the room filled with the gas. Also, the doctor inquires if any of the family members or relative’s experiences or complaints of the same symptoms you are experiencing.

If a victim is expectant, they should notify the doctor immediately. The deadly gas can attach to the fetal hemoglobin. Levels more than 10 and 15% higher can be risky to the growing fetus.

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Expected Duration

The gas leaves the body the same way it entered, through the lungs. If the patient is inhaling fresh air, it takes about six hours for the patient to exhale out about half of the inhaled poisonous gas. Clearing off this deadly gas from the bloodstream can be elevated if the patient is given 100% oxygen.

Because this deadly gas kills brain cells, the victim is at risk of long-term neurological issues.

 Treatment

After a fuel-burning appliance starts releasing an intoxicating gas, you should get out of that environment. A victim should quickly receive oxygen as fast as possible. In case of an incidence, a patient is placed a re-breather mask that has a high flow of oxygen. A mask prevents a patient from re-breathing exhaled poisonous gas.

However, after the victim has been discharged, they should schedule a visit with the doctor to check if there are complications with the brain and nerves. If the victim has suffered severe gas intoxication, they should be connected to a respirator. The machine assists a patient to breathe and get 100% oxygen.

In the case of gas poisoning, ensure that you get help immediately. A delay can cause long-term complications and may lead to neurological issues.

Prevention

This deadly gas can kill without an alert because it has no odor, color, or taste. The following are some of the suggestions that can reduce the risk.

  • Avoid heating rooms using ovens, clothes dryer or stove top
  • You can install the house with carbon monoxide detectors
  • You can purchase vents that lead such gases outside.
  • You can open the windows and other openings when using a fireplace

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