Podcast #75: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

00a27803-129b-4568-8fb0-4780c5fbf220Run Time: 11 minutes

Author: Dr. Donald Stader

Educational Pearls:

  • CO poisoning is often seasonal – fall/winter – because people are turning on their old furnaces that have not been used for months.
  • Common signs and symptoms include dizziness, headache, nausea, and fatigue.
  • To test for CO poisoning test for carboxyhemoglobin – a normal pulse oximeter will not show any change – 1-3% is normal for a non-smoker, 10-15% is normal for a smoker, and greater than 25% indicates severe CO poisoning.
  • The heart and the brain are the most important systems to worry about in an acutely ill patient with CO poisoning – CO binds to myoglobin and to hemoglobin with a higher affinity than O2 which means not enough O2 is getting to the body– CO in the brain can oxidize several molecules and create free radicals that the body cannot handle.

Link to Podcast:  http://medicalminute.madewithopinion.com/carbon-monoxide-poisoning/

References:  http://www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm

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