Carbon Monoxide Headquarters

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Failures in the Care of CO Poisoning Victims:

  • Not diagnosing (or misdiagnosing) CO poisoning.

  • Not taking a complete history of recent events.

  • Not even considering CO poisoning as a possible diagnosis.

  • Not taking blood samples for COHb.

  • Blood samples for COHb taken too long after exposure ends.

  • Not ordering and/or offering hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy when it is appropriate and in an appropriate interval following CO exposure.

  • Not recognizing the possible longterm danger of chronic low/moderate level CO exposure.

  • Not administering psychometric tests and not measuring COHb before and after hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

  • Discharging CO victims after only 1-2 hrs. of oxygen therapy; ie. while still symptomatic.

  • Not understanding or anticipating delayed sequelae from CO exposure.

  • Not recognizing longterm headache, nausea, fatigue, etc. as indicators of CNS damage.

  • Not contacting a poison control center or a specialist for more detailed & appropriate treatment options.

  • Not moving quickly and aggressively to remove CO from the victims' blood.

  • Famous Last Words Regarding CO Poisoning

    ...... last changed 01/04/01

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