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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – What You Need to Know

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It is important for family members, friends and spouses to learn all they can about carbon monoxide poisoning. The information can be the major determinant of a life and death situation. One must be aware, supportive, patient and understanding when dealing with survivors of such poisoning. Although some survivors may appear normal, there are usually other subtle symptoms that may cause severe, long term effects.

A survivor may fail to function as he did prior to the poisoning due to these ‘unseen’ injuries. Taking into consideration that the livelihood of a person depends on this factor, a lot can be changed by such an accident.

People generally react differently when exposed to same carbon monoxide levels. This is why the after effects will differ despite the fact that exposure level maybe similar. A victim of extreme poisoning may recover fully while a victim of low poisoning may suffer severe effects. In real sense, it is impossible for an untrained person to predict the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. However, medical professionals are aware of this situation.

How to Deal With the Situation

Being aware of all the effects of poisoning is the first step of dealing with the situation proactively. Be observant of all changes that the person is exhibiting. Even the minor changes must be considered. Avoid the biggest misconception that a person who has been exposed to low carbon monoxide levels recuperates faster. Bear in mind that:

  • Statistics available for CO2 poisoning are unreliable. This is because research is still underway and most of the findings are still inconclusive thus must be studied extensively.
  • Even mild poisoning can cause ongoing effects that can lead to a major impact to the victim’s life. In most cases, those close to the survivor do not even realize that the person’s life has taken a dramatic turn.
  • Multiple carbon monoxide poisoning causes extreme symptoms, especially in cases where the first cases were left untreated.
  • Additional complications may arise in the long-term although they were previously invisible in the short to mid-term. Existing symptoms can worsen as well.

The most important thing to do is to administer first aid to the victim of carbon monoxide poisoning. This is what you need to do after you’ve called the paramedics:

  1. Open all windows and doors to allow fresh air into the room. Avoid crowding the victim, as is the norm, because this will deny him the chance of getting adequate air.
  2. Remove the victim’s jacket, scarf, headgear and shoes so that proper blood flow can be restored. If the victim is sweating excessively, place a damp piece of cloth on his forehead to lower body temperature.
  3. Raise the victim’s head to a higher level than the rest of the body. Carbon monoxide poisoning usually interferes with oxygen supply and this posture is helpful in rectifying the situation.
  4. Once the victim has regained consciousness, talk to him in order to establish the level of damage caused. Ask them normal question such as their names, where they work, their hobbies, etc.
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