Carbon Monoxide Poisoning



STUDY 1:

Patient 1: A 71 year old man was admitted with chest pain, nausea and vomiting. He had evidence of atherosclerosis ("hardening of the arteries"), but no previous chest pain. His COHb at admission was 15.2%; it was estimated that peak levels were 20%. He was treated with 100% oxygen and isosorbide dinitrate. He recovered well.

He had been using an old kerosene heater without adequate ventilation for 12 hours before coming to the hospital. He was a heavy smoker (about 60 cigarettes per day). His wife, a non-smoker, had suffered headache and nausea and had a COHb level of 6.6% after being away from the heater for 10 hours.


Patient 2: : A 55 year old man was admitted with chest pain, nausea and vomiting. He didn't smoke, but had a heart attack a year earlier and suffered from subsequent chest pain. His COHb was 7.5%; it was estimated that peak levels were 15%. He was treated with isosorbide dinitrate and recovered.

He had been using a kerosene heater in a small flat with poor ventilation up to about 6 hours before coming to the hospital. His wife's COHb was 3.3% after being away from the heater for 16 hours. She was also a non-smoker.


Patient 3: : A 50 year old healthy man was admitted with chest pain, headache, nausea and dizziness. He'd had several episodes of chest pain after climbing one flight of stairs. His COHb at admission was 10.1%; peak levels were estimated at 15%. He was treated with 100% oxygen and recovered. He had no evidence of heart abnormality afterwards.

He had been using a kerosene heater in an unventilated room for about 4 hours before symptoms appeared.

Balzan, M.V., Cacciottolo, J.M. & Mifsud, S. Unstable angina and exposure to CO. Postgrad. Med. J. (1994) 70: 699-702.


What this study shows:


last changed 12/25/99



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