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CMAJ. 1985 Sep 1;133(5):392-9.

Carbon monoxide poisoning.


Carbon monoxide poisoning is a significant cause of illness and death. Its protean symptoms probably lead to a gross underestimation of its true incidence. Low levels of carbon monoxide aggravate chronic cardiopulmonary problems, and high levels are associated with cardiac arrhythmias and cerebral edema. Patients who survive acute poisoning are at risk of delayed neurologic sequelae. The measurement of carboxyhemoglobin levels does not reveal the tissue levels of carbon monoxide but is useful in determining therapy. Treatment includes the monitoring and management of cardiac arrhythmias and oxygenation. Hyperbaric oxygenation is beneficial, but there are currently no definite criteria for its use.

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