Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Video: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Video: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning | Cherry 🍒-Red Skin | Give me Oxygen 🚑 2023, January

Poisoning: carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that cannot be smelled, tasted or seen. This is exactly what makes it so dangerous: it can accumulate in closed rooms unnoticed and lead to death within a short time. Carbon monoxide poisoning is the most common gas poisoning in Austria.

If poisoning is suspected, the following applies in any case: Contact the poisoning information center +43 (0) 1 406 43 43 early to assess the risk.


  • Continue reading
  • more on the subject
  • What is carbon monoxide?
  • What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
  • How can I provide first aid?
  • How can you prevent?

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (carbon monoxide, CO) is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas. It arises from incomplete combustion processes without human being aware of it, and it can even penetrate walls.

There is a risk of old or defective gas boilers, poor chimney drafts from a stove, blocked chimneys, pellet storage rooms, smoking from water pipes and the use of charcoal grills in interiors and garages.

Danger! Never grill or heat in closed rooms with charcoal grills!

Danger from gas boilers

There is a risk of poisoning from gas boilers, especially at high outside temperatures, when the exhaust gases from the therme cannot rise and escape. If the windows in the apartment are also closed, no fresh air and no oxygen can get into the interior. The air circulation comes to a standstill and the concentration of the exhaust gases increases dangerously.

The risk is increased by the simultaneous operation of gas boilers and mobile air conditioning units: The air conditioning units suck air out of the room and impair the air circulation, which can cause the CO concentration to rise sharply.

Clogged pipes inside the thermal bath are also a danger (regular expert checks are important!).

Tip Carbon monoxide alarms are recommended for apartments with gas boilers.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Carbon monoxide binds to the red blood pigment hemoglobin and thereby blocks the binding sites for oxygen. As a result, too little or no oxygen is transported to the organs and tissues of the body.

The symptoms depend on the carbon monoxide concentration and the duration of inhalation. Warning signs can be:

  • Dizziness, headache,
  • Nausea, vomiting,
  • Visual disturbances, ringing in the ears as well
  • Shortness of breath, pressure on the chest.

Symptoms of severe poisoning can include:

  • Circulatory collapse,
  • Unconsciousness as well
  • Seizures.

The damage can be fatal in a relatively short time.

Note All symptoms in this context must always be taken seriously, especially if several people in the room complain of similar complaints at the same time!

How can I provide first aid?

  • Make sure you protect yourself and do not put yourself in danger!
  • Open all windows.
  • If possible, get everyone involved out of the danger zone and into fresh air. Important:

    If your own risk is too great, call the fire brigade (122) and ambulance (144) first.

    • If you are unconscious: Keep your airways free. An unconscious person lying on their back is at risk of suffocation. A simple, stable side position can prevent this.
    • If you have stopped breathing, perform a resuscitation immediately.
    • More on the topic: first aid measures.

Note Even those affected with minor symptoms need treatment, as long-term damage cannot be ruled out.

How can you prevent?

To avoid accidents with gas boilers, the following tips should be observed:

  • Chimneys, gas boilers and instantaneous water heaters regularly checked or serviced professionally,
  • Do not put air conditioning units into operation without first making a room air report (by a chimney sweep, specialist installer),
  • Regular ventilation should also be provided on days with high outside temperatures, especially while the thermal baths are in operation (when showering, washing dishes, etc.). If the thermal bath is in a room without a window, open the closest window and the connecting doors.

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