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Acute Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Acute Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms and Causes

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. Acute Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when there is excessive carbon monoxide in the air. Too much carbon monoxide can greatly diminish people's ability to absorb oxygen, thus causing acute carbon monoxide poisoning that can lead to serious, potentially fatal tissue damage. This type of poisoning is a leading cause of unintentional death from poison.

Acute Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be subtle, even though the condition is a life-threatening medical emergency that needs immediate care. Symptoms may include:

  • Dull headache (the most common, early symptom)
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Impaired judgment
  • Loss of consciousness

Acute Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Causes

Carbon monoxide is produced by appliances and other devices that produce combustion fumes, such as appliances and devices that burn gas or other petroleum products, wood and other fuels. Acute carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when too much carbon monoxide accumulates in a contained, poorly ventilated space.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be especially dangerous for people who are sleeping or intoxicated. The fumes may be fatal before people realize there's a problem. If you suspect you've been exposed to carbon monoxide, get into fresh air immediately and seek emergency medical care. If possible, open windows and doors on the way out of the house.