HBOT and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

According to the CDC, a minimum of 430 U.S. citizens die every year while approximately 50,000 americans are admitted to emergency rooms–within the same time span–due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning (1).

Carbon monoxide is produced during the incomplete combustion of carbon-containing materials (e.g. petroleum, charcoal, wood) (2, 3).

After carbon monoxide has been inhaled and has left the lungs entering the bloodstream, it displaces oxygen by attaching itself to the hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is three hundred more times attracted to carbon monoxide than it is to oxygen (4).

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include (1):

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • chest pain
  • confusion

Common sources of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • motor vehicles that burn gasoline
  • gas-powered generators
  • gas lanterns
  • heating systems
  • wood-burning fireplaces
  • charcoal grills

Oftentimes, pure oxygen is administered via a facemask to treat mild carbon monoxide poisoning. Sever and/or long-term exposure to carbon monoxide can be treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a chamber in which the air pressure is about two to three times higher than normal. This speeds the replacement of carbon monoxide with oxygen in your blood. It helps protect heart and brain tissue, which are particularly vulnerable to injury from carbon monoxide poisoning (5).

CO Poisoning Prevention Tips

  • Change the batteries in your CO detector every six months. If you don’t have a battery-powered or battery back-up CO detector, buy one soon.
  • Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
  • Keep vents and flues free of debris. Debris can block ventilation lines.
  • Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
  • Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine less than 20 feet from an open window, door, or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.
  • Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.
  • Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open.
  • If you suspect CO poisoning, call 911 or a health care professional right away.

References:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019, January 21). Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/features/copoisoning/index.html
  2. Handbook of Hormones. Yoshio Takei, Hironori Ando and Kazuyoshi Tsutsui. (2015), Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/book/9780128010280/handbook-of-hormones#book-info
  3. Handbook of Toxicology of Chemical Warfare Agents. Ramesh C. Gupta. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/book/9780128001592/handbook-of-toxicology-of-chemical-warfare-agents
  4. Chronic Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. J. C. S. Battley, M.B., Canadian Medical Association Journal. (1928, August 19). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1709799/
  5. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. The Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/carbon-monoxide/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20370646

Legal Disclaimer

 

The content and information provided within this site is for informational and educational purposes only. Consult a doctor before pursuing any form of therapy, including Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. The information procided within this site is not to be considered Medical Advice. In Full Support of the F.D.A., Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is considered Investigational, Experimental, or Off Label.

Please Consult with your Treating Medical Physician