Identifying and managing adverse environmental health effects: 6. Carbon monoxide poisoning. Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning is an enigmatic illness. The symptoms are often non-specific or masked by an exacerbation of an underlying illness, such as congestive heart failure, that has been triggered by carbon monoxide inhalation. The effects can range from mild, annoying symptoms relieved by removal of the source to severe morbidity with profound central nervous system dysfunction, acute complications and delayed sequelae. Estimates suggest that about one-third of nonfatal cases of carbon monoxide poisoning go undetected and undiagnosed. We present a case of residential carbon monoxide poisoning to illustrate these points and to demonstrate the usefulness of a simple tool based on the CH2OPD2 mnemonic (Community, Home, Hobbies, Occupation, Personal habits, Diet and Drugs) that physicians can use to obtain an environmental exposure history. We outline the clinical management of carbon monoxide poisoning and provide strategies and resources to prevent exposure.

publication date

  • June 25, 2002

published in