What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
As a tasteless, odorless, and sightless gas, carbon monoxide can be deadly in large doses. Especially common during the winter months due to an increased usage of gas fireplaces and space heaters. When carbon monoxide levels in the air are too high, your body will substitute carbon monoxide for oxygen in your red blood cells, causing serious tissue damage in less severe cases, and potentially death when higher concentrations have built up in the bloodstream.
Treating Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning is most successfully treated with the assistance of trained emergency room personnel. If you suspect that you have carbon monoxide poisoning, it is important to get fresh air as soon as possible and call 911.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is treated by infiltrating the bloodstream with 100% pure oxygen as quickly as possible, to break down all built-up concentrations that have occurred. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) is often prescribed in facilities that are equipped to do so, as it is shown to increase the rate at which the carbon monoxide in your blood is exchanged for oxygen.
HBOT is also used to in many cases to treat severe carbon monoxide poisoning. The heart and brain are two organs that are most susceptible to damage from carbon monoxide poisoning, and this aids in protecting those tissues. Due to the increased vulnerability of developing infants to the harmful effects of carbon monoxide, hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be advised for pregnant women.