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Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas you can't see or smell. It's produced when certain fuels are burned. Faulty stoves or furnaces can release carbon monoxide. So can a car left running in an enclosed space. Inhaling even small amounts of carbon monoxide can make you sick. Larger amounts can be fatal.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a medical emergency. Get the victim into fresh air right away. Then call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. It`s easy to mistake mild carbon monoxide poisoning for the flu. Watch for symptoms such as:
Headache and dizziness
Confusion or loss of memory
Nausea and vomiting
Trouble breathing or chest pain
Irregular, skipped, or fast heartbeats
Have furnaces, water heaters, gas ovens, and wood stoves checked each year.
Don't use a charcoal grill inside the house.
Don't leave your car running in an enclosed space.
Install a carbon monoxide detector that meets Underwriters' Laboratories (UL) standards.
Oxygen therapy is the main treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning. The victim is likely to receive oxygen through a facemask right away.
The victim may be placed on a heart monitor with a pulse oximeter. This displays the heart rhythm and the amount of oxygen in the blood.
Blood tests to check oxygen levels and lung function may be done.
An imaging test such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be done to check for damage to the brain. Depending on the test results, the victim may be admitted to the hospital. Or, he or she might be transferred to a hyperbaric oxygen center for treatment in a special oxygen chamber.