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Main types of poisoning: carbon monoxide

monossido-di-carbonio

Carbon monoxide is definitely one of the most frequent occurrences of poisoning. Until recently, a source of monoxide carbon was given by city gas taps. Nowadays in many countries it is been replaced by methane or “natural gas,” which is devoid of constituent toxic. Today, the main source of carbon monoxide it’s due to the exhaust gases from internal combustion engines. Most of these cases of poisoning are accidental, although it is still a method of choice for commit suicide.

Signs and symptoms

Carbon monoxide is odorless and its presence is recognizable only because of the harmful effects it generates in beings living. Early manifestations can be mistaken for hysterical symptoms. The gastrointestinal system may be affected with vomiting and incontinence fecal. The skin and mucous membranes may take on a pinkish tinge, and it is possible that bullous lesions appear at some pressure points.

Diagnosis and treatment

Although the initial symptoms are not characteristic, the history and circumstances often lead to the diagnosis. Confirmation that it is poisoning is by measuring the level of carboxyhemoglobin in the blood. At this point the patient should be removed from the polluted area and oxygen administered. If there is no quick recovery, it is necessary to transfer the patient to a hyperbaric chamber. To cope with possible cardiac complications, the patient should be kept at absolute rest with ECG monitoring.

Source: Roy Goulding’s Vademecum of Poisoning Therapy.

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