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Papers of the Week

2022 May

Emerg Med Clin North Am



Carbon Monoxide Toxicity.


Nañagas KA, Penfound SJ, Kao LW
Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2022 May; 40(2):283-312.
PMID: 35461624.


Carbon monoxide accounts for thousands of deaths worldwide each year. Clinical effects can be diverse and include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, syncope, seizures, coma, dysrhythmias, and cardiac ischemia, and severe toxicity generally affects the nervous and cardiovascular systems. Because of its complex pathophysiology, effects of toxicity can be acute or delayed. The diagnosis can be elusive, as carboxyhemoglobin levels do not always correlate with the degree of poisoning. Even when the diagnosis is certain, appropriate therapy is widely debated. Normobaric oxygen is the standard therapy, and the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen is unclear.