Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a toxic gas that you cannot see or smell. CO is given off whenever fuel or other carbon-based materials are burned. Breathing high levels of the gas causes severe illness or death in just minutes due to CO poisoning. Although CO poisoning can be prevented, hundreds of people in the United States die every year, and thousands more people require emergency medical care, as a result of accidental, non-fire related exposure to this toxic gas.

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Breathing high levels of CO can cause loss of consciousness and death. Unless suspected, CO poisoning can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms mimic other illnesses. People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before ever experiencing symptoms.