The Dangers of CO Poisoning

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November 14, 2019
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CO Poisoning

We have put together short blog on CO Poisoning to help consumers understand the dangers.

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that has no smell or taste. Breathing it in can make you unwell, and it can kill if you’re exposed to high levels.

Every year there are around 60 deaths from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in England and Wales.

After carbon monoxide is breathed in, it enters your bloodstream and mixes with haemoglobin (the part of red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body) to form carboxyhaemoglobin.

When this happens, the blood is no longer able to carry oxygen, and this lack of oxygen causes the body’s cells and tissue to fail and die.

Advice from the NHS

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are not always obvious, particularly during low-level exposure. A tension-type headache is the most common symptom of mild carbon monoxide poisoning.

Other symptoms include:

  • dizziness
  • feeling and being sick
  • tiredness and confusion
  • stomach pain
  • shortness of breath and difficulty breathing

Treating carbon monoxide poisoning

Seek medical advice from your GP if you think you have been exposed to low levels of carbon monoxide.

Go to your local A&E straight away if you think you have been exposed to high levels.

Your symptoms will often indicate whether you have carbon monoxide poisoning, but a blood test will confirm the amount of carboxyhaemoglobin in your blood. A level of 30% indicates severe exposure.

People who smoke can often have higher than normal levels of carboxyhaemoglobin in their blood, which can sometimes make it difficult to interpret the results.

Mild carbon monoxide poisoning does not usually need hospital treatment, but it’s still important that you seek medical advice.

Your house will also need to be checked for safety before anyone returns.

For more information on our CO products, click here.

To speak to our team, call: 0330 999 0019