Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 31 March 2020

Doctors warn about dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning

Doctors have warned about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning after one man died and his wife was left in a critical condition.

DUBAI// Doctors have warned about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning after one man died and his wife was left in a critical condition.

The Asian woman was found unconscious next to her husband’s body in their apartment after breathing in carbon monoxide. She was rushed to Rashid Hospital where she was treated by a team of specialists led by Dr Sara Kazim, Consultant Emergency Medicine and Medical Toxicologist.

The woman had also suffered a seizure on the way in the ambulance and complained of nausea and headaches.

“Tests found that she had high levels of carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that can cause dizziness, nausea, tiredness and shortage of breath to name a few, and even death if exposed to high levels,” said Dr Kazim.

Once carbon monoxide is breathed in it enters the bloodstream and begins to attach to haemoglobin – the part of red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body.

This in turn forms carboxyhemoglobin.

When this happens, the blood can no longer carry oxygen and the resulting lack of oxygen cause the body’s cells and tissue to fail and die.

The cause of the carbon monoxide leak in the woman’s apartment has not as yet been determined, said the Dubai Health Authority.

The women was treated with oxygen and intravenous fluids and was monitored to ensure declining carbon monoxide levels, said Dr Kazim, who urged the public to be careful when burning fuels in closed rooms without ventilation.

With the colder weather around the corner, Dr Kazim said people needed to be careful when using heaters and even shisha in closed rooms as it can result in dizziness, nausea, tiredness and shortage of breath.

The gas is odourless meaning victims will not feel like they are being poisoned, especially while sleeping.

Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, coal and wood do not burn fully. Burning charcoal, running cars and the smoke from cigarettes can also produce carbon monoxide.

nhanif@thenational.ae

Updated: November 21, 2016 04:00 AM

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