Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Bright red lips are the most obvious visible sign of carbon monoxide poisoning occurring. Seeing this sign could save a life!
CO poisoning occurs from exposure to carbon monoxide molecules building up in your bloodstream. The presence of high carbon monoxide levels in the air forces the red blood cells to replace the oxygen with carbon monoxide. Without rapid removal from the environment and treatment, carbon monoxide causes irreversible tissue damage and rapidly results in death.
Carbon monoxide is deadly due to being a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas released into an enclosed space produced by burning gasoline, wood, propane, charcoal, or other combustible fuel sources.
Improperly ventilated appliances and engines, particularly in a tightly sealed or enclosed space, may allow carbon monoxide to accumulate to dangerous levels without a person being aware they are breathing poisonous gas and soon to depart this life.
If you think you or someone has been exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning, immediately get them into the fresh air and away from the source, open the space to release the built-up gas and seek emergency medical care.
Symptoms Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
· Bright red lips are the most obvious visible sign of CO poisoning occurring
· Blurred or distorted vision
· Dizziness, light-headedness, feeling like you might faint for no apparent reason
· Nausea or vomiting
· Feeling weak
· Chest and muscle pain
· Shortness of breath
How Long Does It Take Carbon Monoxide To Exit Your System
The carbon monoxide in your body leaves through your lungs when you exhale in the same way carbon dioxide and oxygen exit the lungs. The problem with CO is a delay in the blood cells releasing and eliminating the carbon monoxide molecules. Carbon monoxide takes 18-24 hours to leave your body completely.
How To Find Carbon Monoxide Leaks Around The Home
· Look for brownish or yellowish stains around any appliances
· A pilot light that frequently flames out.
· Burner flame appears to be a yellow colour instead of clear blue (exception: natural gas fireplaces).
· No upward draft in the chimney flue to provide gas escape and ventilation.
· Stale-smelling air.
· Soot, smoke, or back-draft inside the home.
Prevention Detectors In Your Home
The following simple precautions can help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
Install carbon monoxide detectors.
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ExSgQ5oQBs
These days you can buy a combination smoke alarm with a CO detector built into the unit. If you don’t have a combined unit, place a CO detector beside your current smoke alarms or one in the hallway near each sleeping area in your house. Check the batteries every time you check your smoke detector batteries — at least twice a year. If the alarm sounds, leave the house and call the fire department. Carbon monoxide detectors are also available for motor homes and boats.
Open the garage door before starting your car.
Never leave your car running in your garage with the door closed. Be particularly cautious if you have an attached garage. Leaving your car running in a space attached to the rest of your house is never safe; even with the garage door open, the fumes can quickly fill a space and become deadly.
Use gas appliances as recommended.
Never use a gas stove or oven to heat your home unless it was purpose-built for that task. Use portable gas camp stoves outdoors only. Use fuel-burning space heaters only when someone is awake to monitor them, and open doors or windows to provide cross ventilation and fresh air. Don’t run a generator in enclosed spaces like the basement or garage.
Keep your fuel-burning appliances and engines properly vented.
These items include:
· Space heaters
· Charcoal grills
· Cooking ranges
· Water heaters
· Portable generators
· Wood-burning stoves
· Car and truck engines
If you have a fireplace, keep it in good repair. Clean your fireplace chimney and flue yearly to remove carbon and soot build-up.
Keep vents and chimneys unblocked during remodelling. Check that they aren’t covered by tarps or debris.
Make repairs before returning to the site of an incident. If carbon monoxide poisoning has occurred in your home, it’s critical to find and repair the source of the carbon monoxide before you stay there again. Your local fire department or utility provider may be able to help.
Use caution when working with solvents in a closed area. Methylene chloride, a solvent commonly found in paint and varnish removers, can break down (metabolise) into carbon monoxide when inhaled. Exposure to methylene chloride can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
How Do You Flush Carbon Monoxide From The Body
The best way to treat CO poisoning and flush the bloodstream is to breathe pure oxygen under medical supervision. This treatment increases the oxygen levels in the red blood cells and helps to push out the CO from the cell. Your doctor will place an oxygen mask over your nose and mouth and ask you to breathe normally.
Learn Basic First Aid Skills With First Aid Course Experts
Everyone can learn new skills no matter what their age. If you have never taken a First Aid course, please visit our website and read our FACE Blog page, where you can find over 100 topics across all medical fields that will offer you motivation, inspiration and general knowledge that will assist you in learning the skills required to save a life.
FACE offers several courses and has a trainer near you. If you are so remote that a trainer can not be sourced near you, check out the new ZOOM course for remote area certification in First Aid and CPR.