Most likely, everyone at least once heard such a thing as “carbon monoxide.” Indeed, because of this substance, many people suffered. Unfortunately, despite awareness of carbon monoxide gas, poisoning is still common. Often this is observed in homes where there is stove heating.
The detrimental effect of carbon monoxide on the human body is expressed in the fact that the substance affects the respiratory system. As a result, changes in blood composition occur. Then the whole body begins to suffer. In the absence of treatment, intoxication can cause serious consequences.
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a substance that is colorless and odorless. Another name for this compound is carbon monoxide. The formula for carbon monoxide is CO. It is believed that this substance does not pose a great danger at room temperature. High toxicity occurs if the atmospheric air is very hot.
For example, in the case of fires. Nevertheless, even a small concentration of carbon monoxide can cause poisoning. At room temperature, this chemical rarely causes severe intoxication symptoms. But it can cause chronic poisoning, to which people rarely pay attention.
Carbon monoxide is ubiquitous. It is formed not only during fires but also in normal conditions. People who have a car and smokers are dealing with carbon monoxide every day. Also, it is contained in the air. However, its concentration is significantly exceeded in various emergencies. The acceptable content of carbon monoxide is 33 mg / m 3 (maximum value); the lethal dose is 1.8%. With an increase in the concentration of a substance in the air, symptoms of hypoxia develop, that is, a lack of oxygen.
Causes of carbon monoxide poisoning
The main cause of poisoning is considered to be the harmful effects of carbon monoxide on the human body. This occurs if the concentration of this compound in the atmosphere is above the permissible rate. Why does carbon monoxide content increase? There are several factors due to which carbon monoxide is formed:
Fires in confined spaces. It is a well-known fact that most often death due to fires is not due to the direct effects of fire (burns), but due to hypoxia. Low intake of oxygen in the body due to the increased amount of carbon monoxide in the air.
Stay in specialized institutions (factories, laboratories) where carbon monoxide is used. This substance is necessary to synthesize various chemical compounds. Among them – acetone, alcohol, phenol. Non-observance of gas equipment operation rules.
It includes a flow of water heaters, stoves — malfunction of stove heating. A high concentration of carbon monoxide is often observed due to poor traction in the ventilation ducts and chimneys. Long stay with cars in an unventilated garage, box.
In the above situations, you should constantly pay attention to changes in health. If there are signs of indisposition, you should seek help. If possible, purchase a carbon monoxide detector. To a greater extent, it is needed in poorly ventilated areas.
The effect of carbon monoxide on the body
Why is carbon monoxide dangerous for the body? It is due to the mechanism of its effects on tissue. The main effect of carbon monoxide on the human body is blocking the delivery of oxygen to the cells.
As is known, the protein hemoglobin contained in red blood cells is involved in this process. Under the influence of carbon monoxide, oxygen transport to the tissues is disturbed. It occurs as a result of protein binding and the formation of a compound such as carboxyhemoglobin.
The consequence of such changes is the development of hemic hypoxia. That is, the cause of oxygen starvation is red blood cell damage. Also, there is another disastrous effect of carbon monoxide on the human body. It has a detrimental effect on muscle tissue.
This is due to the binding of carbon monoxide to myoglobin. As a result, there are violations of the heart and skeletal muscles. Severe effects of hypoxia of the brain and other organs can lead to death. Most often, violations occur in acute poisoning. But chronic intoxication is not excluded.
How Long Does Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Last?
There is no easy way to tell how long carbon monoxide poisoning will last. There are varying degrees of carbon monoxide poisoning, from mild to severe.
The duration of poisoning will be dependent on the amount of time the person is exposed to carbon monoxide. Some symptoms can take up to a year to resolve.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
The main damaging effects of carbon monoxide are directed to the tissue of the brain, heart, and skeletal muscles. CNS damage is characterized by the following symptoms: headache, nausea, hearing and vision loss, tinnitus, impaired consciousness and coordination of movements.
In severe cases, can develop a coma, convulsive syndrome. Changes in the cardiovascular system are the occurrence of tachycardia, pain in the chest. There is also a decrease in muscle tone, weakness. It becomes difficult for the patient to breathe, tachypnea is noted. The skin and mucous membranes are hyperemic.
In some cases, there are atypical clinical forms of poisoning. These include symptoms such as fainting and euphoric conditions. In the first case, there is a short-term loss of consciousness, a decrease in blood pressure, pallor of the skin. The euphoric form is characterized by psychomotor agitation, the development of hallucinations, delusions.
Diagnosis of carbon monoxide poisoning
Assistance with carbon monoxide poisoning can be provided only if such a condition is diagnosed on time. After all, the symptoms of hypoxia are observed in various diseases. Attention should be paid to the living conditions and place of work of the patient.
If the house has stove heating, you need to find out how often the room is ventilated. If you suspect poisoning with carbon monoxide is necessary to conduct a study of the gas composition of the blood.
With moderate severity, the concentration of carboxyhemoglobin is in the range from 20 to 50%. Also, there is an increase in carbon dioxide content.
The oxygen concentration decreases. With severe poisoning, carboxyhemoglobin is more than 50%. In addition to oximetry, a general and biochemical blood test is performed. For the diagnosis of complications performed ECG, electroencephalography,
Consequences of carbon monoxide poisoning
The severity of the patient’s condition with carbon monoxide poisoning is due to hypoxia. The higher the concentration of carbon monoxide in the air, the worse the prognosis of the disease.
In addition, it matters how long a person has been in contact with a poisonous substance. The consequences of hypoxia of organs and tissues can lead to such complications as stroke, myocardial infarction, acute respiratory and heart failure.
In case of severe intoxication, biochemical disturbances of the acid-base balance are observed. They consist of the development of metabolic acidosis. If the concentration of carbon monoxide in the air is more than 1.8%, in the first minutes of being in a room, a person may die. To prevent the development of severe hypoxia, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Emergency care for gas poisoning
What is emergency care for carbon monoxide poisoning? The answer to this question should know not only doctors but also people who are in the risk zone (constantly in contact with carbon monoxide).
First of all, bring the injured person to fresh air and ventilate the room. If the patient is unconscious, it is necessary to provide access to oxygen, take off his embarrassing clothes and lay on his left side.
If necessary, resuscitation measures are held. If a person is fainting, you should bring cotton wool with liquid ammonia to his nose, rub his chest to improve blood flow to the organs.
Antidote carbon monoxide is oxygen. Therefore, patients with a moderate severity of intoxication should be in a special mask for several hours.
Carbon monoxide poisoning: inpatient treatment
In most cases, hospitalization is indicated. The patient does not need a special mode if he has a slight carbon monoxide poisoning. The treatment, in this case, is walking in the fresh air.
With moderate and severe hospitalization is necessary, especially this rule applies to pregnant women, children, and people suffering from heart disease.
With the development of complications, the patient is placed in the intensive care unit to monitor indicators of oxygen saturation. After stabilization of the condition, specific treatment in pressure chambers, climate change, etc. are recommended.
Household carbon monoxide detector – what is it?
Currently, there are special sensors that respond to an increase in the concentration of carbon monoxide in the room. A carbon monoxide detector is a household appliance that should be installed almost everywhere.
Unfortunately, such a rule is rarely observed, and sensors are only available in production facilities (laboratories, plants). It should be noted that the detectors should be installed in private homes, apartments, and garages. It will help avoid dangerous consequences for life.
What to do when carbon monoxide poisoning?
Carbon monoxide is considered one of the most dangerous poisons on the planet. It is colorless, and it is difficult to determine by smell. When it enters the body, this poisonous gas is attached to the hemoglobin molecules, preventing the access of oxygen to the cells of the body.
Therefore, without rendering first and then professional medical care, the patient faces the threat of losing life in three minutes. Therefore, we consider how to see the danger and what to do in case of carbon monoxide poisoning.
When there is a risk of poisoning?
Since this gas is invisible to the human eye, it is worthwhile to determine in what places there is a danger of poisoning. Sources of carbon monoxide are all devices that work by burning fuel: a car, a gas stove in the kitchen, a column, and some types of home heating systems.
Usually, all this is set up to divert the hazardous substance as far as possible from a person. But there are situations in which the risk is very great. So, carbon monoxide poisoning occurs under the following conditions:
Small room; working or faulty device; lack of adequate ventilation.Working car in the garage. Faulty gas stove or heating system in a house with windows sealed tightly for winter.
In all these cases, you need to be ready to distinguish the symptoms of poisoning, call an ambulance and do everything possible at home.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
The condition of a person who has been poisoned with a fierce gas varies depending on the time he was in the room, poisoned by a toxic substance, and its amount in the air.
There are mild, moderate, severe bodily harm, pathological or chronic poisoning.
At the initial stage, a person may feel nauseous urges, weakness in muscles, decreased sensitivity of hearing, body tremors, pulsations in the head, before fainting. Remember that professional medical care must be called at the very first signs of feeling unwell. Do not wait until a person loses consciousness.
With a moderate degree of poisoning, weakness of the body, a sharp decrease in physical and mental activity, intolerance to harsh light, sound or odors, memory lapses, body tremors, or loss of muscle coordination can be observed.
With prolonged or concentrated exposure, there is a severe condition of the patient.
Its signs are a coma, accompanied by loss of consciousness, involuntary bowel movements, convulsions, significant fever, problems with breathing and pulse. If you do not bring a person to live in a short period, death can occur due to paralysis of the respiratory system.
In some cases, the poisoned person may suffer from color blindness or other pathologies of the optic nerve. He may have problems with hair and skin: baldness, graying, hemorrhoidal rashes, trophic ulcers, and so on.
A patient after carbon monoxide poisoning may suffer from tachycardia, coronary insufficiency, pulmonary edema, and other disorders of breathing and blood flow.
Lack of oxygen provokes other pathological changes in the body: an increase in the level of red blood cells, lactic acid, sugar in the blood and changes in the composition of urine.
Chronic damage with this poisonous substance causes constant pain in the head, constant fatigue, development of atherosclerosis and endocrine system malfunction. All these symptoms are manifested and aggravated during the period of physical or mental stress.
First aid for symptoms of poisoning
If you have noticed the above symptoms with your friend or relative, remember that you need to act in this case immediately. First, you must immediately call an ambulance or a doctor.
Secondly, before the arrival of specialists, it is necessary to take some actions to help the patient to survive or, if possible, to improve and stabilize his condition.
So, in case of a slight carbon monoxide poisoning, first of all, it is necessary to take a person out of a gassed room. First, he needs to calm and breathe fresh air.
You can rub his body, thus achieving muscle relaxation, give him drink warm tea or coffee, it will be useful to put a cold compress on his forehead and chest.
If a person has already lost consciousness in case of carbon monoxide poisoning, you must first remove him from the danger zone. Next is to check for breath and pulse.
In the absence of all this, artificial respiration must be done. But, in order not to get defeated by carbon monoxide in an attempt to save the life of another, the victim’s mouth should be covered with a damp cloth. Thus, first aid should be performed until the appearance of doctors.
Recipes of traditional medicine
After the main assistance in carbon monoxide poisoning has been rendered and the crisis has passed, it is important to take care of the recovery after suffering.
In this case, people often resort to recipes of traditional medicine. But, given their ambiguous effect on the human body, it will be right to consult with a specialist before starting to apply them.
To cope with the consequences of the defeat of household gas will help the infusion of berries. For cooking, it is necessary to take lingonberries and cranberries in equal quantities (approximately 100 grams). All this should be pounded and poured boiling water in a ratio of 1: 1. Infusion needs to take 50 grams six times a day.
After being hit by gas, what can help get it out? Two tablespoons of crushed knotweed poured half a liter of water and insisted. The resulting composition should drink half a glass three times a day.
To restore the body after poisoning in the pharmacy, you can purchase an extract of rosea. It is necessary to accept it on 10 drops three times a day till 19.00. The composition must first be diluted with a small amount of water. If desired, you can add honey.
An excellent tool in the fight against disruptions in the body after the defeat of household gas is a dandelion decoction. Six grams of its dried roots pour 250 ml of water and boil for 15 minutes after boiling. The resulting composition is insisted, cooled, filtered and diluted with boiled water — the maximum portion – a tablespoon of liquid three times a day.
Broth from the root of the cleaver is prepared in the following way: dried and chopped root is filled with cold water at a rate of a tablespoon per 300 milliliters. All this is brought to a boil and cooked for 15 minutes. Broth must be filtered and taken in the form of heat. The maximum portion should not exceed 50 ml.
When symptoms of moderate, severe, or pathological poisoning of a large person occur, rub vinegar diluted in proportion with water 1: 1. If a person is able, this solution must be drunk at least 100 ml.
All of the above means with proper use can have a positive effect on the body, remove toxins and improve the general well-being of the person.
Methods of prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning
They say that any disease is better to prevent than to cure. What can be done to avoid the unpleasant symptoms of exposure to household gas:
do not warm up and do not allow any long-term operation of the car in the garage; monitor the health of the heating system and other gas appliances; ensure that fresh air enters the room, especially if there are problems with ventilation.
To summarize: domestic gas is primarily dangerous because its presence in the air is difficult to recognize. Therefore, it is important to be prudent in the places of its possible appearance. You must be vigilant and not ignore the first signs of fatigue, such as fatigue or headaches.
At the first alarming symptoms, it is important to leave the dangerous place, call an ambulance and apply first aid means. And after overcoming the crisis, you should use the folk or other methods of restoring the body. Just before using the means of alternative medicine, it is obligatory to consult a doctor.