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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Silver Cross EMS System EMD January 2011 CE Emergency Medical Dispatcher Learning Objectives Define carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon monoxide ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning


1
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
  • Silver Cross EMS System
  • EMD January 2011 CE
  • Emergency Medical Dispatcher

2
Learning Objectives
  • Define carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon monoxide
    poisoning.
  • Identify signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide
    poisoning.
  • Describe the role of EMD in carbon monoxide
    poisoning.
  • Identify sources of carbon monoxide poisoning.

3
Carbon monoxide is and has been the most common
cause of accidental toxic poisoning and death in
the United States for the last 100 years.
4
Carbon Monoxide is
  • Colorless
  • Odorless
  • Tasteless gas

5
Scope of the Problem
  • CO Poisoning creates approximately 40,000 visits
    to hospital EDs each year.
  • All people and animals are at risk.
  • Certain groups are more susceptible
  • - unborn babies, infants, and people with
    chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory
    problems.

6
Scope of the Problem (cont.)
  • Each year more than 500 Americans die from CO
    poisoning.
  • More than 2000 commit suicide by intentionally
    poisoning themselves.

7
Sources of Carbon Monoxide (CO)
  • Carbon monoxide is found in combustion fumes,
    such as those produced by
  • Cars and trucks
  • Small gasoline engines
  • Stoves and lanterns
  • Burning charcoal and wood
  • Gas ranges and heating systems.

8
New Homes
  • Most new homes are more air tight than older
    homes, which cuts down the fresh air supply to a
    furnace. This results in an oxygen-starved flame
    that forms carbon monoxide gas.

9
Tobacco Use
  • Tobacco smoke, including secondhand smoke, is a
    large source of CO in homes with smokers. Smokers
    have higher carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) values than
    nonsmokers. Smokers generally have COHb values of
    5 to 6 percent. Nonsmokers have COHb levels of .5
    percent, whereas nonsmokers exposed to secondhand
    tobacco smoke have been shown to have COHb
    levels in the 2 to 3 percent range.

10
Winter Season CO causes
  • Gas and oil heaters are not cleaned or serviced.
  • Blocked or poorly maintained chimneys
  • Old or worn chimney flue liner.
  • Birds nest can block the chimney.
  • Wrong sized flue installed
  • Warming up cars or trucks in a garage

11
CO detectors
  • Home detectors are designed to sound before
    residents show signs and symptoms of carbon
    monoxide poisoning.

12
Pathophysiology
  • Normally, hemoglobin binds with oxygen.
  • When carbon monoxide (CO) is present, the CO will
    bind to the hemoglobin in red blood cells 200
    times more strongly than oxygen.
  • This combination of hemoglobin and CO produces
    carboxyhemoglobin (COHb).
  • This decreases the amount of oxygen carried by
    the hemoglobin, causing oxygen deprivation.

13
Initial Symptoms
  • The initial symptoms of CO poisoning are similar
    to the flu (but without the fever). The most
    common symptoms are
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea and/or Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Chest Pain
  • Pink or Red skin tone (late sign)

14
Long-term Exposure Symptoms
  • Neurological
  • Long-term nervous system damage
  • Cardiovascular
  • Hypotension (Low blood Pressure)
  • Dysrhythmias (Irregular Heart Rhythms)
  • Clotting disorders
  • Respiratory
  • Hypoxia (Low Oxygen Levels)
  • Shortness of breath

15
Dangerous CO Levels
  • Health effects depend on level of CO, patients
    health, and length of exposure.
  • The concentration of CO is measured in parts per
    million (ppm).
  • 1 to 70 ppm generally will not have any
    noticeable effect.
  • Above 70 ppm symptoms become more apparent.
  • Above 150 to 200 ppm, disorientation,
    unconsciousness, and death are possible.

16
Treatments
  • If the source is known, have victims removed from
    the area, if it is safe to do so.
  • Advise callers to move themselves and other
    victims to fresh air or well ventilated area.
  • For complaints related to the exposure, proceed
    to the proper protocol in your EMDPRS.

17
FYI
  • Victims will benefit from oxygen administration
    and severe cases may need hyperbaric oxygen
    therapy.
  • Hyperbaric chamber airtight chamber containing
    an oxygen atmosphere under high pressure to force
    oxygen into tissues and displace carbon dioxide.

18
For more information
  • http//www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm
  • Center for Disease Controls Carbon Monoxide fact
    sheet.
  • http//www.hyperbariclink.com/TreatmentCenters/Tre
    atmentCentersList.aspx?cidUSAsidIL
  • List of hyperbaric facilities in Illinois and
    further information on treatments.

19
Resources
  • Will/Grundy EMS System CME, 1st Trimester 2008
  • AAOS Emergency Medical Responder, 5th Edition
  • Mosbys Medical Dictionary, 4th Edition
  • Principles of Emergency Medical Dispatch, 4th
    Edition
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