Carbon Monoxide Headquarters

Chronic CO Poisoning:

Case Study #1:

Mrs. Betty Jones is a 35 year old homemaker. She and her husband George, 37 years old, live in a city in the mid-west. She has an Associates degree in accounting, while her husband has a Masters degree in Business Administration. Neither of them are smokers.

In early 1995, they purchased a home in a suburban community through a real estate brokerage company. The home was built in 1958. It was inspected and major appliances in the home were guaranteed for 5 years. The home has three bedrooms, a livingroom, family room and a glassed in back porch. It is heated by a forced-air, natural gas furnace in the basement. Hot water is provided by a gas-fired water heater, also in the basement.

Beginning in the autumn of 1995, Betty Jones began having headaches and feeling very tired. Her two children, John (12 years of age) and Cathy (9 years of age), and her husband George occasionally awoke in the morning with headaches, dizziness, and nausea. They believed that they all had a touch of "flu" or had eaten tainted food.

Mrs. Jones continued to feel "out of it" for the remainder of 1995 and into the spring of 1996. Her physician, Dr. Blackstone, gave her a "physical", obtaining chest X-rays, blood for complete CBC, and samples for a Pap smear test. He found nothing wrong, saying that "flu" has been going around. A furnace company who regularly serviced the heating system found "everything in good working order."

During the summer of 1996, Betty Jones and the whole family felt much better, although she and the children continued to have frequent headaches and to feel slightly fatigued. They felt better when they went away for vacation for two weeks.

In late October, 1996, Betty Jones again began to have frequent severe headaches and to become extremely fatigued. She was becoming so lethargic that she could not accomplish her normal housework. She was forgetting tasks that needed doing, and finding it increasingly difficult to maintain the family checkbook. She was also feeling depressed and defeated in her daily life.

On several visits to Dr. Blackstone she was told that there was nothing wrong with her. He said her perceived state was psychosomatic, and that she should seek counseling or schedule regular visits with a psychiatrist.

...... last changed 01/22/01

Next Page

Back to Chronic CO Index