What Is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Man cannot live by carbon monoxide alone. In fact, he can’t live by it at all. Most people are surprised to discover just how little carbon monoxide it takes to cause them serious harm and even kill them. Carbon monoxide concentrations are measured in parts per million, but that belies the danger. You hardly need any of the stuff to ruin your. Twelve thousand parts per million of carbon monoxide will cause death in one to three minutes. Without knowing the measurement of carbon monoxide in the garage at the time of discovery, the amount of time it took cannot be predicted.
Often used as a method of attempted suicide, carbon monoxide is an extremely toxic gas produced by combustion in low oxygen levels. It is a deadly poison that has caused the most accidental deaths in history than any other toxin, simply because it goes undetected.
If it is present in large amounts, it kills quickly, before a person has a chance of reacting properly. Life pushes everyone down, but suicide is never a good option. You might think that no one cares, but life always provides second chances.
There are always better ways to solving problems. If you live outside the USA, there will be a life-saving hotline that you should contact before doing anything harmful. Besides, death from carbon monoxide is painful and might not be as easy as it seems. While oxygen and red blood cells form a weak bond that breaks down after a while, carbon monoxide and red blood cells form a permanent bond and cuts off the oxygen supply for the body, slowly crippling and killing the person.
Using car exhaust fumes to commit suicide is a well-known method until recently. But this method is very likely to fail, only leading to unnecessary suffering. So, if you are looking at this article and are thinking about commit suicide with carbon monoxide, please rethink how to file taxes with paystub and give this harmful thought away.
Carbon monoxide suicide could be either by running a car engine continuously in an enclosed space like a garage or by running a pipe from the exhaust directly into the car, ideally in an enclosed area. But that was when car emissions were not monitored.
Cars nowadays emit much lower levels of carbon monoxide than before. Only really older cars might do this. Besides, in places like the US, UK and Australia, car emissions are more tightly controlled to avoid this kind of tragedy. People might also try carbon monoxide suicide by burning charcoal and inhaling the gas.
A house is too big and leaks in windows and doors will let the smoke out. Consequently, there won't be enough carbon monoxide or you will be saved by others who saw the smoke. Apart from these factors, there are a number of ways in which the use of car exhaust can fail to work as a suicide method. Life is never easy and we all have to go through our own trials and hardship, but hope and support are what is a dark fiber around us.
Life is already hard, why attempt suicide to add more misery to it, let along suicide is never the solution to anything. Being odorless and tasteless, carbon monoxide suicide is often thought to be reasonably quick, inducing swift unconsciousness and leading to a peaceful and painless death. People trying committing suicide with carbon monoxide suffer a lot during the process.
They find it hard to breathe and their head starts getting clouded. Vomiting and fainting are inevitable. Besides, fainting lowers the blood circulation rate which prolongs exposure to the gas and causes, even more damage to the body. Complications for survivors: It is likely that you will survive the ordeal when committing suicide using carbon monoxide. When you do survive, the pain only intensifies.
Depending on the degree and length of exposure, even with proper treatment, survivors may develop long-term brain damage, resulting in complications such as severe memory loss, low brain function, and severe cardiac complications. A person attempting suicide by burning charcoal will mostly survive, usually with tremendous brain damage due to cerebral anoxia.
Know what happens after boot camp in the army about what carbon monoxide poisoning feel like and what first aid is need here:.
It is commonly believed that carbon monoxide poisoning leads to death that resembles sleep. However, that is not true. One acquaintance of mine committed suicide using carbon monoxide and his body was so badly disfigured that his family was denied to see the body. His facial capillaries had burst, his eyeballs had popped and his tongue had swollen to prop the jaw open unnaturally.
I think no one can say that is peaceful. As far as I know, carbon monoxide is produced during incomplete combustion, which can be very difficult to produce. That might explain why it is not a very widespread method of suicide.
Suicide via carbon monoxide poisoning takes a long time and gives one a terrible headache and infinite pain. Things only get worse. If your friends, family or roommates are sleeping in the same room, the smoking of burning charcoal will cause harm to them. That guilt will swallow you! So guys, no matter how bad life appears, it gets better. Suicide should not be a way of dealing with problems, as it only hurts you, your friends and family. Copyright WWW. Last Updated 24 April, You're Very Likely to Fail Using car exhaust fumes to commit suicide is a well-known method until recently.
Not Enough Emission Carbon monoxide suicide could be either by running a car engine continuously in an enclosed space like a garage or by running a pipe from the exhaust directly into the car, ideally in an enclosed area.
Other Adverse Factor Apart from these factors, there are a number of ways in which the use of car exhaust can fail to work as a suicide method. Metal connections and clamps and heat resistant tubing need to be used, since plastic tape and regular tubing can melt due to the hot exhaust gas.
The gas has to quickly exceed ppm, which should be tested using a CO meter beforehand. A car with an exhaust hose through the window will tend to attract attention, so you are very likely to be found and saved during the process. The only result is to add another suffering in your life. You Will Suffer a Lot During and After It Being odorless and tasteless, carbon monoxide suicide is often thought to be reasonably quick, inducing swift unconsciousness and leading to a how long does carbon monoxide take to kill a person and painless death.
Know more about what carbon monoxide poisoning feel like and what first aid is need here: What Others Say About Carbon Monoxide Suicide It is commonly believed that carbon monoxide poisoning leads to death that resembles sleep.
How to Avoid the Silent Killer
High concentrations of carbon monoxide kill in less than five minutes. At low concentrations it will require a longer period of time to affect the body. Exceeding the EPA concentration of 9 ppm for more than 8 hours is suspected to produce adverse health affects in persons at risk. In fresh air, it takes four to six hours for a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning to exhale about half of the inhaled carbon monoxide in their blood. This "clearing" time can be reduced if the person is given % oxygen or is placed in a hyperbaric oxygen (high-pressure oxygen) chamber, which creates a higher oxygen pressure than the normal outside pressure. Infants, the elderly, people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or breathing problems are more likely to get sick from CO. Each year, more than Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20, visit the emergency room, and more than 4, are hospitalized.
Medically reviewed by Drugs. Last updated on May 18, Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, colorless, odorless gas found in the fumes of fuels that contain carbon, such as wood, coal and gasoline. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a potentially fatal illness that occurs when people breathe in carbon monoxide.
All sorts of sources can release carbon monoxide, including cars, trucks, small gasoline engines like lawnmowers , stoves, lanterns, furnaces, grills, gas ranges, water heaters and clothes dryers.
The risk of poisoning is especially high when equipment is used in an enclosed place and ventilation is poor. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur in victims of smoke inhalation during a fire. More than one-third of carbon monoxide-related deaths occur when the victim is asleep. Once inhaled, carbon monoxide passes from your lungs into your bloodstream, where it attaches to the hemoglobin molecules that normally carry oxygen.
Oxygen can't travel on a hemoglobin molecule that already has carbon monoxide attached to it. As exposure continues, the gas hijacks more and more hemoglobin molecules, and the blood gradually loses its ability to carry enough oxygen to meet your body's needs. Without enough oxygen, individual cells suffocate and die, especially in vital organs such as the brain and heart.
Carbon monoxide also can act directly as a poison, interfering with cells' internal chemical reactions. Symptoms vary depending on the concentration of carbon monoxide in the environment, the length of time you are exposed, and your health.
If you are exposed to very high levels of carbon monoxide gas in a poorly ventilated room, you can develop:. Without immediate treatment, you can lose consciousness, have a seizure, enter a coma, and potentially die. Death can result from only a few minutes of exposure to higher concentrations or from an hour of exposure to lower levels. If you are exposed to very low levels of carbon monoxide over a longer period weeks or months , your symptoms can appear like the flu, with headache, fatigue, malaise a general sick feeling and sometimes nausea and vomiting.
People with long-term exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide also can have numbness, unexplained vision problems, sleep disturbances, and impaired memory and concentration. If you are unconscious, your doctor's first priority is to stabilize your condition, providing emergency treatment such as oxygen, fluid and treatment for seizures.
Information about the exposure will be collected from the emergency personnel, your relatives, or both. This is especially important if you are a victim of smoke inhalation during a fire, because you could have inhaled other toxic gases besides carbon monoxide. After a poisoning that occurs indoors, your doctor will ask about the condition of fuel-burning appliances and equipment in your home and at work and about the quality of ventilation in these areas.
Your doctor will want to know how long you were exposed, whether your symptoms improve when you leave the area, and whether any of your family members or co-workers complain of symptoms similar to yours. If you are pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. When your doctor examines you, he or she will pay particular attention to your nervous neurological system.
To confirm the diagnosis, your doctor will draw blood to determine your levels of oxygen and carboxyhemoglobin carbon monoxide attached to hemoglobin. Additional tests may be needed depending on your specific symptoms. You may need an electrocardiogram EKG to evaluate symptoms of chest pain or an irregular heartbeat.
In people with neurological symptoms, a magnetic resonance imaging MRI or computed tomography CT scan of the brain may be needed. In a pregnant woman, the fetus may have to be monitored. An external monitor will be placed on the woman's belly to measure the fetus' heart rate over time to look for signs of distress suggesting low oxygen levels. Carbon monoxide gas leaves the body the same way it got in, through the lungs.
In fresh air, it takes four to six hours for a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning to exhale about half of the inhaled carbon monoxide in their blood. Because carbon monoxide poisoning can kill body cells, especially in the brain, there is a risk of long-term neurological problems in people who have had severe poisoning.
Carbon monoxide can kill without warning because it has no color, odor or taste. Here are some suggestions to reduce your risk:. You should immediately get out of the environment with high carbon monoxide level.
You should receive oxygen as quickly as possible, preferably high flow oxygen through a non-rebreather mask. This prevents you from inhaling the gas that you just exhaled. You will be taken to an emergency department. If your symptoms disappear after oxygen treatment for several hours and your physical exam and blood tests are normal, you may be able to go home. You may need to schedule a follow-up visit with your doctor to check for complications to your nerves and brain.
Patients with very severe poisoning may be treated in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. You are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning whenever you are near a fuel-burning appliance or tool. At the first hint of symptoms, move quickly to fresh air. Don't wait for more severe symptoms to start. If you are concerned about the condition of a fuel-burning appliance in your home and you notice headaches, flu-like symptoms or sleep problems, call your doctor.
If you suspect that someone else is suffering from severe carbon monoxide poisoning, call for emergency help immediately. If possible, move an unconscious victim to an area with fresh air.
Be cautious. Remember that high levels of carbon monoxide can make you sick, too, even before you can bring the victim to safety. The prognosis depends on the severity of carbon monoxide poisoning. Among people with severe symptoms, as many as two out of three people may have long-term complications, especially neurological problems. In people with mild to moderate symptoms, as many as one in five can develop lasting neurological problems. Neurological problems range from mild personality changes to severe intellectual impairment, blindness and deafness.
In pregnant women, poisoning can cause fetal death or cerebral palsy in the child. Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Medically reviewed by Drugs. Symptoms Symptoms vary depending on the concentration of carbon monoxide in the environment, the length of time you are exposed, and your health.
If you are exposed to very high levels of carbon monoxide gas in a poorly ventilated room, you can develop: Headache Shortness of breath Personality changes Unusually emotional behavior or extreme swings in emotions Fatigue Malaise a generally sick feeling Dizziness Clumsiness or difficulty walking Vision problems Confusion and impaired judgment Nausea and vomiting Rapid breathing Chest pain A rapid or irregular heartbeat Without immediate treatment, you can lose consciousness, have a seizure, enter a coma, and potentially die.
Diagnosis If you are unconscious, your doctor's first priority is to stabilize your condition, providing emergency treatment such as oxygen, fluid and treatment for seizures.
Expected Duration Carbon monoxide gas leaves the body the same way it got in, through the lungs. Prevention Carbon monoxide can kill without warning because it has no color, odor or taste. Here are some suggestions to reduce your risk: Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home in hallways near bedrooms and in garaged attached to living areas. Open the flue when you use a fireplace. Never use charcoal grills or hibachis indoors. Buy appliances that vent to the outside.
Have fuel-burning appliances professionally installed. After installation, periodically check the vents for blockages or cracks. Before turning on your heater for the winter season, have your heating system, flues and chimneys professionally inspected. If necessary, have chimneys and flues professionally cleaned. Never heat your home by using an oven, stovetop or clothes dryer. Never operate gas-powered tools or engines inside, even if windows are open and ventilation seems good. Never leave your car running inside an attached garage.
Also, when your car idles outdoors, keep one or two windows slightly open. Treatment You should immediately get out of the environment with high carbon monoxide level.
When To Call A Professional You are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning whenever you are near a fuel-burning appliance or tool.