Carbon Monoxide Headquarters

CO Support: Survey Study of Chronic CO Poisoning

More on Symptoms:

  • As an average, symptoms such as headache and dizziness were experienced for almost 2 years prior to CO being identified as the problem.

  • In many cases, the symptoms persisted for 2-3 years after poisoning ceased - some are still continuing.

  • During exposure, the most common symptoms were tiredness, headache, pains & cramps, and nausea/sickness.

  • In the chronic group of victims, symptoms included lack of concentration, cardiac problems, flu-type symptoms, difficulty breathing, cramps, memory problems, personality changes, clumsiness and depression.

  • In the victims who had experienced unconsciousness, the fraction with each symptom during the period of exposure was somewhat higher.

  • Only 4 of the symptoms (nausea and sickness, hallucinations, flu symptoms and digestive problems) showed improvement with time.

  • There was only a slight improvement in the incidence of symptoms after CO was eliminated.

  • Memory loss as a problem increased after CO exposure ceased.

  • Neck and back pain and deep muscle pain have remained the most persistent problems.

  • The incidence of pain among victims who had been unconscious was even greater than for the chronically exposed group.

  • Over 70% of both the unconscious group and the chronic group continue to suffer from some degree of pain.

  • Over 45% of the chronic victims were unable to work an average of 4 years after CO poisoning ceased. 75% of those rendered unconscious were unable to work an average of 2-1/2 years after CO poisoning ceased. Household income fell by 1/2 in the unconscious victims and by 20% in the chronic victims.

    ...... last changed 03/17/02

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