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Anaesthesist. 2010 Jun;59(6):529-34. doi: 10.1007/s00101-010-1730-x.

[Carboxyhemoglobin concentration in carbon monoxide poisoning. Critical appraisal of the predictive value].

[Article in German]

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Universitätsklinik für Anästhesiologieund operative Intensivmedizin, Universitätsklinikum Halle/Saale, Ernst-Grube-Str. 40, 06097 Halle/Saale, Deutschland.


In cases of unclear depression of conciousness, arrhythmia and symptoms of cardiac insufficiency inadvertent carbon monoxide intoxication should always be taken into consideration. Rapid diagnosis of acute carbon monoxide intoxication with mostly unspecific symptoms requires an immediate supply of high dose oxygen which enables a distinct reduction of mortality and long-term morbidity. Levels of carboxyhemoglobin, however, should not be used as a parameter to decide whether to supply normobaric or the more efficient hyperbaric oxygen. There is no sufficient coherence between carboxyhemoglobin blood levels and clinical symptoms. Increased carboxyhemoglobin concentrations help to diagnose acute carbon monoxide intoxication but do not allow conclusions to be drawn about possible long-term neuropsychiatric or cardiac consequences.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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