Carbon monoxide is the most frequent cause of poisoning in industrialized countries. Reports indicate that over 500 people a year are killed by unintentional poisoning, with about 15,000 people seeking treatment at hospitals. Firefighters play a key role in responding to and rescuing patients suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. Symptoms of mild poisoning include headaches and flu-like effects. However, larger exposures can lead to significant toxicity of the central nervous system and heart.
OBJECTIVE Upon completing this educational curriculum on carbon monoxide poisoning, by Bryan E. Bledsoe, DO, FACEP, the student will be more aware of the importance of carbon monoxide detection and carbon monoxide treatment in the fire-ground setting.
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