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Carbon monoxide poisoning: first aid and treatment

Carbon monoxide poisoning Carbon monoxide poisoning - a fairly common form of intoxication of the body, which is characterized by a rapid and extremely severe course, causes damage to all organs and systems, often ends in a fatal outcome.If the victim is promptly and correctly provided with the first first aid at the scene, the risk of severe complications can be significantly reduced.Adequate actions of others can save the victim and the lethal outcome.

Contents: How dangerous is carbon monoxide How does carbon monoxide work on the body Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

What is dangerous is carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a poison of quick and general toxicity.If its concentration in the air reaches 1.2% or more, then the victim's death comes in 3 minutes. The danger of carbon monoxide is as follows:

  1. Has no color or smell - a person simply does not feel his presence in the room.
  2. It is able to penetrate through layers of soil, walls and any partitions.
  3. Not absorbed by porous materials, so even conventional filter masks do not protect against the toxic effects of carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

How carbon monoxide acts on the body

First and foremost, this type of gas blocks the delivery of oxygen to organs and tissues - it is considered a blood poison, because erythrocytes are primarily affected.Normally, these blood cells transfer oxygen to organs and systems with the help of hemoglobin, and when carbon monoxide enters the body, it binds to hemoglobin, carboxyhemoglobin is formed, which is considered to be harmful to the whole organism by a compound.As a result, red blood cells do not have the ability to deliver oxygen to organs and tissues, the whole body experiences acute oxygen starvation( hypoxia).

Since nerve cells are the most sensitive to oxygen deficiency, the poisoning of carbon monoxide primarily manifests the characteristic symptoms of the central nervous system - nausea, headache, impaired coordination, dizziness.

Another important point: carbon monoxide disrupts the functioning of the heart muscle and skeletal musculature.The fact is that this type of gas when it enters the body is associated with the protein of skeletal muscles and cardiac muscle, and this is manifested by severe impairments in the work of the heart - shortness of breath, rapid breathing / palpitations, weak pulse.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

The intensity of symptoms depends only on how long the carbon monoxide has been exposed to the human body, and what was its concentration in the air - it is on the basis of these data that the degree of intoxication is determined.

Central nervous system

For mild to moderate to severe poisoning,

  • is a headache of shingles with localization in the temples and forehead;
  • tinnitus;
  • dizziness;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • flickering images, "flies";
  • fogging of consciousness;
  • sharp decrease in acuity of hearing and vision;
  • movement coordination disorder;
  • loss of consciousness of a short-term nature.

If there is a serious carbon monoxide poisoning, the victim will be noted:

  • loss of consciousness;
  • convulsions;
  • coma;Involuntary urination and defecation.
  • .

Cardiovascular system

The light and medium degree of poisoning will be characterized by:

  • heartbeat and pulse;
  • pressing pain in the area of ‚Äč‚Äčanatomical location of the heart.

If there is severe poisoning, the symptoms characteristic of severe degree of carbon monoxide intoxication will appear:

  • much faster pulse - up to 130 beats per minute, but at the same time it is practically not probed;
  • the highest risk of rapid development of myocardial infarction.

Respiratory system

This section of the body suffers just because of an acute shortage of oxygen at the time of carbon monoxide poisoning.If intoxication proceeds in an easy and average degree, the person will have shortness of breath and rapid breathing.But in the case of severe poisoning by the type of gas under consideration, the victim's breathing will be intermittent, superficial.

Skin and mucous membranes

It is almost impossible to notice any pronounced changes on the skin and mucous membranes due to carbon monoxide poisoning.The only thing that can manifest with mild to moderate intoxication is a bright red or pronounced pink shade.With a severe degree of the condition under consideration, on the contrary, the skin and mucous membranes will be pale, with a barely noticeable pink tinge.

In medicine, atypical forms of carbon monoxide poisoning are also distinguished.In this case, the following symptoms will be present:

  1. Fainting form - intensive decrease in arterial pressure, pronounced pallor of the skin and mucous membranes, loss of consciousness.
  2. Euphoric form - the patient is nervous, hallucinations are present, there may be unmotivated actions, loss of consciousness coupled with cardiac and respiratory insufficiency.

Consequences of carbon monoxide poisoning

This condition entails a number of complications that in medicine it is common to divide into early and late.

Early complications of acute carbon monoxide poisoning( the first 2 days after the event):

  1. poisoning From the central nervous system: headaches and dizziness of a prolonged nature, impaired motor activity, loss of sensitivity in the lower / upper extremities,And bladder, disruption of the work of the organs of hearing and vision, cerebral edema, exacerbation of mental illness, if any, in the patient's anamnesis.
  2. From the respiratory system: sudden pulmonary edema of toxic etiology.
  3. From the cardiovascular system: violation of the rhythm of the heartbeat and pulse, violation of the coronary circulation, sudden death of the victim due to cardiac arrest.

Late complications of carbon monoxide poisoning( 2-40 day):

  1. From the central nervous system: loss of memory, psychosis, decreased intelligence, impaired motor function, apathy, blindness, impaired pelvic organs, parkinsonism, paralysis.
  2. From the cardiovascular system: angina pectoris, cardiac asthma, mycoardites of various types, myocardial infarction.
  3. From the respiratory system: swift pneumonia.

To reduce the intensity of complications, to protect the victim from severe intoxication, you need to know how to act when you find a person who has been poisoned with carbon monoxide.

First aid for carbon monoxide poisoning

The first thing to do when a victim is found is to call an emergency ambulance, and this must be done even if the victim himself indicates his normal state of health.Remember the important points:

  1. Carbon monoxide poisoning Only a doctor can objectively assess a person's state of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  2. Symptoms and symptoms of intoxication in the condition under consideration by no means always indicate the true degree of poisoning-the development of complications dangerous to human health and life, possibly two days after the incident.
  3. If the qualified medical care is provided in a timely manner, the risk of death or disability after poisoning with carbon monoxide is reduced as much as possible.

And before the arrival of the brigade "First Aid" it is possible and necessary to provide the following assistance:

  1. Stop exposure to carbon monoxide on the victim's body.For this person, take it out to fresh air, cut off the source of carbon monoxide( if possible), put on a poisoned oxygen mask or a special gas mask with a gopkalite cartridge.The latest recommendations refer to cases where such funds are available "at hand".
  2. Ensure that oxygen passes through the respiratory tract.The victim is extremely desirable to put on his side, before unbuttoning his tie, shirt, belt on his trousers, taking off his sweater or jacket, jacket.
  3. Recover, provide a rush of blood to the brain.This goal can be achieved with the help of ammonia - put it on the cotton wool and bring it to the nose of the victim at a distance of not less than 1 cm. You can grind the breast, and if you have "mustard" on hand, put it on your back or chest( only outside the anatomical areaHeart).Give the victim a drink of hot tea or coffee, if there is such an opportunity and the poisoned has already come to mind.
  4. If necessary, then it is necessary to do indirect heart massage and artificial respiration for the victim.In this case, the cycle should be determined: 2 breaths and 30 strokes on the chest.
  5. The victim should not waste his energy, he needs to provide peace.To do this, it is enough to lay the poisoned on its side, cover it with a blanket or wrap it in a jacket / coat.Be sure to ensure that the victim is not overheated.

Further medical measures should be carried out by specialists - they introduce an antidote and decide on hospitalization of the victim. The following categories of patients must be placed in the hospital without fail:

  • pregnant women;
  • people with existing cardiovascular diseases;
  • people who suffered a short-term loss of consciousness;
  • those poisoned, who have neurotic disorders - nonsense, hallucinations, impaired coordination of motion;
  • patients who have a body temperature below 36, 6 degrees.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious condition, which in most cases leads to death of the victim.Only promptly and competently rendered help can minimize the risk of development of serious complications of early and late form, and in some cases prevent a fatal outcome.

Tsygankova Yana Aleksandrovna, medical reviewer, therapeutist of the highest qualification category


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