Carbon Monoxide Headquarters
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Failures in the Care of CO Poisoning Victims:
- Not diagnosing (or misdiagnosing) CO poisoning.
- Not taking a complete history of recent events.
- Not even considering CO poisoning as a possible diagnosis.
- Not taking blood samples for COHb.
- Blood samples for COHb taken too long after exposure ends.
- Not ordering and/or offering hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy when it is appropriate and in an appropriate interval following CO exposure.
- Not recognizing the possible longterm danger of chronic low/moderate level CO exposure.
- Not administering psychometric tests and not measuring COHb before and after hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
- Discharging CO victims after only 1-2 hrs. of oxygen therapy; ie. while still symptomatic.
- Not understanding or anticipating delayed sequelae from CO exposure.
- Not recognizing longterm headache, nausea, fatigue, etc. as indicators of CNS damage.
- Not contacting a poison control center or a specialist for more detailed & appropriate treatment options.
- Not moving quickly and aggressively to remove CO from the victims' blood.
Famous Last Words Regarding CO Poisoning
...... last changed 01/04/01
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