Signs and Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

In this article, we will discuss the Signs and Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. So, let’s get started.

Signs and Symptoms

The clinical features of carbon monoxide poisoning are due to formation of carboxy-hemoglobin, the formation of which depends on the concentration, duration of exposure, and activity of the person at the time of exposure. The clinical features depending on the severity of toxicity are discussed below:

Severity- Mild

  • Carboxy-hemoglobin level- <25%
  • Symptoms and Signs- Cherry-red or pink colour of skin, dyspnea on exertion, tachypnea, headache, lack of concentration, psychomotor retardation, fatigue, vertigo, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, visual disturbances, angina may be precipitated in patients with coronary artery disease

Severity- Moderate

  • Carboxy-hemoglobin level- 25-50%
  • Symptoms and Signs- In addition to above symptoms, there may be confusion, seizures, collapse, and cerebral edema

Severity- Severe

  • Carboxy-hemoglobin level- >50%
  • Symptoms and Signs- Hypotension, slowing of pulse rate, respiratory depression, pulmonary edema, coma, ECG abnormalities (ST-T changes, atrial fibrillation, ventricular ectopics, and conduction defects). Angina may develop

Severity- Very Severe

  • Carboxy-hemoglobin level- >70%
  • Symptoms and Signs- Rapidly fatal

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