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Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide in Hotels

Carbon Monoxide Pool Heaters

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms

Delayed Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Damage

Winter Heart Attack Caused by Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Diagnosis of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Prevention of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Products which can Cause Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Resources

Carbon Monoxide Lawsuits


Common causes of Carbon Monoxide poisoning include:

Furnaces/HVAC Units
Space Heaters
Hotels/Resorts
Boating
Aviation/Airplanes
Air Crashes

Warehouse Workers
Propane Devices
Generators

PREVENTION: Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors can make a difference in your home. But if such devices are not properly maintained they won’t make a difference.

One of the most serious situations for carbon monoxide poisoning is in space heaters in apartments or hotel rooms. Stand alone heating units also include on the wall heating systems that you find in a high percentage of hotel rooms.

When in a hotel room with an older type system check to see if there is a carbon monoxide detector in the room. Travelling with a portable carbon monoxide detector is a good plan as only a few states have a law requiring CO detectors in hotels, and none in all rooms. Hotels

WARNING: Older ski resorts have a poor safety record for carbon monoxide poisoning so be particularly cautious when staying at ski resorts.

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CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING SYMPTOMS:

The early symptoms (headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, confusion, disorientation, and visual disturbances) also have to be emphasized, especially if they recur with a regular periodicity or in the same environment. Complications occur frequently in CO poisoning. Immediate death is most likely cardiac in origin because myocardial tissues are most sensitive to the hypoxic effects of CO. Severe poisoning results in marked hypotension, lethal arrhythmias, and electrocardiographic changes. Pulmonary edema may occur. Neurological manifestation of acute CO poisoning includes disorientation, confusion, and coma. Perhaps the most insidious effect of CO poisoning is the development of delayed neuropsychiatric impairment within 2 - 28 days after poisoning and the slow resolution of neurobehavioral consequences. Carbon monoxide poisoning during pregnancy results in high risk for the mother by increasing the short-term complication rate and for the fetus by causing fetal death, developmental disorders, and chronic cerebral lesions.

Early Symptoms.  The first symptoms are often the headache, nausea and dizziness.  The more the exposure, the more severe the symptoms become. Winter Heart Attack Mental status can be changed, confusion, memory problems.  Obviously, difficulty staying awake is not only clearly symptomatic, it is DANGEROUS, BECAUSE ONCE YOU ARE ASLEEP, THERE IS NO CHANCE TO GET HELP.

Heart Symptoms.  Potential cardiovascular symptoms are varied.  They begin with tachycardia - an increase in heart rate (rapid heart beat).  This is in response to insufficient oxygen and nutrients getting to the muscles of the heart (hypoxia.)  Hypotension (a drop in blood pressure) with possible syncope (fainting) can also occur. The fainting occurs as there is not enough blood or oxygen getting to the brain to maintain consciousness.  Dysrhythmia’s (an irregular heart beat) and other heart issues, including heart attacks, can also occur.

Dysrhythmia can cause more severe problems, which could result in death, even quicker than the asphyxiation type exposure might.  CO exposure also makes underlying heart conditions worse, and it is particularly dangerous for someone with coronary heart disease.  Even those with undiagnosed heart problems can be at risk, because CO is an added cardiac stressor and may bring on the first severe symptoms of the disease.

Kidney Failure.  Carbon monoxide can also cause kidney failure.

Unborn Babies.  As with most toxins, it is much more dangerous to unborn babies.  It can result in still birth, deformity and neurologic abnormalities.   Even so any signs of these symptoms in a pregnant woman in an environment suspicious for carbon monoxide exposure, should call for immediate action.  Even in a pregnant mother who is only mildly symptomatic, the effects on the unborn baby may be severe.

Yet as dangerous as these immediate affects are, it is the evolution of the delayed effects that sometimes have the worst outcome, in those who survive the toxic event.

Click here for Delayed Effects
Click here for Diagnosis

The symptoms of CO poisoning include the following:

Mild:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred Vision

Moderate:

  • Confusion
  • Syncope
  • Chest Pain
  • Dyspnea  - [shortness of breath]
  • Weakness
  • Tachycardia - [rapid heart beat]
  • Tachypnea - [abnormally fast breathing]
  • Rhabdomyolis - [a condition in which the muscle cells break down and release contents of the muscle into the bloodstream]

Severe:

  • Palpitations - [an abnormal awareness of the beating of the heart, whether it is too slow, too fast, irregular, or at its normal frequency]
  • Dysrhythmias - [abnormal heart rhythms]
  • Hypotension - [low blood pressure] 
  • Myocardial ischemia   or angina - [a painful heart condition caused by lack of blood flow to the heart]
  • Cardiac Arrest - [the abrupt cessation of normal circulation of the blood due to failure of the heart to contract effectively]
  • Respiratory arrest - [the cessation of the normal tidal flow of the lungs due to paralysis of the diaphragm, collapse of the lung or any number of respiratory failures]
  • Noncardiogenic pulmonary edema - [ARDS is a serious condition with respiratory failure that usually requires hospitalization and intensive care]
  • Seizures
  • Coma

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NEXT: CARBON MONOXIDE - DELAYED SYMPTOMS

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What should I do if I suspect CO in my home?

  • Leave the premises immediately.
  • Call 911 or Poison Control from your cellphone after you have left your house. Seek medical attention.
  • Call the fire department to test for CO, or call your fuel company or heating contractor for an emergency inspection.

The Brain Injury Law Group, S.C. is connected with plaintiff's trial lawyers across the United States. Attorney Gordon Johnson is the Past Chair of the Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, a group of lawyers united by a common interest in serving the rights of persons with traumatic brain injuries and a common commitment to fully understanding the anatomic, medical and psychological aspects of brain damage, so we may be of better service to the survivors of brain injury. This network of lawyers are not part of a national law firm. We have separate law practices and are licensed to practice only in our home states.

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