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Symptoms and Signs of 19 Carbon Monoxide Gas Poisoning Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Risks

Doctor's Notes on 19 Carbon Monoxide Gas Poisoning Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Risks

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas. Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning are many, people may display one or more, and are as follows: headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, flu-like symptoms, shortness of breath on exertion, impaired judgment, memory problems, walking problems, confusion, brain damage, depression, hallucinations, agitation, chest pain, drowsiness, visual changes, fainting and/or seizures. Another potential sign of impending or ongoing carbon monoxide poisoning is being alerted by a carbon monoxide detector.

Carbon monoxide is formed when organic compounds burn. Causes of carbon monoxide poisoning are numerous; common sources are motor vehicle exhausts, fires, engine fumes of any type and non-electric heaters. Other fairly common causes of carbon monoxide poisoning are as follows: gas water heaters, kerosene space heaters, propane heaters and stoves, gasoline and diesel-powered generators, propane fueled forklifts, indoor tractor pulls, boat engines, charcoal grills, cigarette smoke from wildfires, spray paint solvents, degreasers and paint removers (especially if burnt).

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Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.