|Carbon Monoxide Binding to Hemoglobin|
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- If a vent pipe has a hole, carbon monoxide can escape into the house.
- Using a barbecue grill or camp stove indoors can cause a build-up.
- Running a car engine with the garage door closed will cause a build-up.
- Exposure to carbon monoxide through improperly vented or faulty appliances
- Fetuses (Maternal cigarette smoking is a major source of exposure.)
- Older adults
- Smoking (Waterpipe tobacco smoking may put you at an even higher risk.)
- Geography: northern states
- Gender: death rates higher in males
- Blood, heart, or lung conditions
- Shortness of breath
- Hoarse voice
- Rapid heart rate
- Chest pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Numbness and tingling
- Disturbed vision
- Loss of appetite
- Disturbed sleep
- Memory loss
- Reduced sex drive
- Whether symptoms come and go
- If anyone else in the household feels ill
- If you use fuel-burning appliances
- Blood tests—to measure oxygen level and electrolytes
- Carboxyhemoglobin test—to help determine the severity of exposure and monitor treatment
- Chest x-ray—a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the chest, used to help determine if pneumonia is present
- Electrocardiogram—a test that records the heart's activity by measuring electrical currents in the heart muscle
- Ventilator—Patients in a coma or with serious heart or nerve involvement may need a ventilator to help them breathe.
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy—Patient is placed in a special chamber in which oxygen is under greater pressure than normal.
- Have an expert check your fireplace chimney every year. Debris can block vents, causing a build-up of carbon monoxide.
- Before the start of the heating season, have a professional check that your gas and kerosene appliances are working properly.
- Make sure all gas and combustion appliances are vented to the outdoors through pipes with no holes.
- Do not use your gas stove or oven for heating your house.
- Do not use a barbecue grill, camp stove, or unvented kerosene heater inside your house or tent.
- Do not use generators or other gasoline-powered engines indoors.
- Only buy and use equipment that carries the seal of the American Gas Association or the Underwriters' Laboratory.
- Do not rely exclusively on a carbon monoxide detector. Use one only as backup, in addition to preventive measures. Follow manufacturer's directions for installation and maintenance.
- Ask a mechanic to check your car's exhaust system every year.
- Do not run the car in the garage, especially with the door closed. Start the car and take it outside.
- Do not leave the door from the garage to the house open when the car engine is running.
United States Consumer Product Safety Commission http://www.cpsc.gov
United States Environmental Protection Agency http://www.epa.gov
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
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World Health Organization (WHO) Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation. Waterpipe tobacco smoking: health effects, research needs and recommended actions by regulators. World Health Organization website. Available at: http://www.who.int/tobacco/global%5Finteraction/tobreg/Waterpipe%20recommendation%5FFinal.pdf. Published 2005. Accessed August 29, 2011.
- Reviewer: Peter Lucas, MD
- Review Date: 10/2012 -
- Update Date: 10/11/2012 -