Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Warning Signs Prevention Underlying Cause

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Underlying Cause

Carbon monoxide poisoning is caused by exposure to exhaust fumes or smoke in a poorly ventilated area.

Sources of carbon monoxide include:

  • Automobile exhaust
  • Forklifts
  • Home furnaces
  • House fires
  • Industrial fires
  • Paint strippers
  • Portable generators
  • Portable house heaters
  • Wood stoves

Carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin, preventing it from carrying oxygen in the bloodstream. It also prevents cells from utilizing oxygen. Because oxygen is required for the cells to function, carbon monoxide can quickly result in death.

Last Updated: Dec 7, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Carbon Monoxide Poisoning References
  1. Annane D, Chevret S, Jars-Guincestre C, Chillet P, Elkharrat D, Gajdos P, Raphael C. Prognostic factors in unintentional mild carbon monoxide poisoning. Intensive Care Med. 2001 Nov;27(11):1776-81. [11810122]
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Carbon monoxide poisoning after hurricane Katrina--Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, August-September 2005. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2005 Oct 7;54(39):996-8. [16208314]
  3. Domachevsky L, Adir Y, Grupper M, Keynan Y, Bentur Y. Hyperbaric oxygen in the treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2005;43(3):181-8. [15902792]
  4. Juurlink DN, Buckley NA, Stanbrook MB, Isbister GK, Bennett M, McGuigan MA. Hyperbaric oxygen for carbon monoxide poisoning. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Jan 25;(1):CD002041. [15674890]
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