Repeated deaths from carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide poisoning death is odorless, insidious, colorless. Nobody can see carbon monoxide. CO, as the chemical molecular formula reads, cannot be perceived by humans. Defective thermal baths or chimneys and furnaces, but also the improper use of open fire represent sources of danger. In closed garages , carbon monoxide is a danger from car exhaust fumes, but patio heaters in closed rooms are no less dangerous. In any case, the gas is produced by insufficient combustion.

How carbon monoxide affects the human body

CO - concentration in the air Inhalation time and toxicological effect of symptoms
0.003% - 30ppm MAK value=maximum workplace concentration for 8-hour working hours
0.02% - 200ppm Mild headache within 2 to 3 hours
0.04% - 400ppm Headache in the forehead within 1 to 2 hours, spreads to the entire head within 2.5 to 3.5 hours
0.08% - 800ppm Dizziness, nausea and limb twitching within 45 minutes, unconscious within 2 hours
0.16 - 1600 ppm Headache, nausea and dizziness within 20 minutes, death within 2 hours
0.32% - 3200ppm Headache, nausea and dizziness within 5 to 10 minutes, death within 30 minutes
0.64% - 6400ppm Headache, nausea and dizziness within 1 to 2 minutes, death within 10 to 15 minutes
1.28% - 12800ppm Death within 1 to 3 minutes

In the case of carbon monoxide poisoning, the absorption of oxygen or the transport of oxygen via the red blood cells is blocked. CO binds 200 to 300 times more strongly to the iron in hemoglobin than oxygen. Also, enzymes in the muscles and nerves are blocked. The symptoms are similar, but they can present themselves differently from person to person. However, headache, dizziness and nausea are always present. Muscle twitching, shortness of breath and flu-like symptoms can also result.

Be careful with first aid

woman with headache

A first responder can't tell what happened when they find an unconscious person in the bathroom or in the basement, they can only infer it from the situation. If the hazard is not recognized, the consequences for the first responder can be fatal . Opening windows and bringing the poisoned person out into the fresh air are top priorities. You should hold your breath while doing this. Wet cloths in front of your nose and mouth do not filter the carbon monoxide, so they do not offer any protection. Hurry is the order of the day, because as can be seen in the table, poisoning can be fatal after a short time. If it is not possible to get the poisoned person out of the danger zone quickly, you have to wait for the rescue workers. Another danger lies in the explosive nature of carbon monoxide . But even with carbon monoxide poisoning, the best first aid measure is one that does not have to be provided. Prevention is better. Regular maintenance of stoves, spas and chimneys can prevent fatal accidents. Installing acoustic CO alarms provides additional security. They only cost between 40 and 60 euros, an investment that can save lives.

Viet Trinh

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