Making a diagnosis of CO poisoning is crucial, as acute high level CO poisoning can be fatal in just a few minutes. The symptoms are usually multiple, many are non-specific, and some are vague. They can involve many of the body systems. Please be aware that the symptom list below is incomplete and that the symptoms often do not follow this rank ordering at presentation. Moreover, many of the more severe symptoms (eg. below ataxia) are only seen with acute high level CO exposure.
Symptoms in Order of Increasing Severity of CO Poisoning:
Note: This doesn't even tell half of the story regarding symptoms of CO poisoning. There is much more on symptoms in chronic CO poisoning from our own studies in another section of COHQ.
More about Symptoms
See Meigs Study of Acute CO Poisoning
Inaccurate plot of CO Conc. & Symptoms
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