Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide (CO) molecules attach themselves to the red blood cells far more easily than oxygen and will remain attached for a prolonged period. This leads to the symptoms of CO poisoning and even a small amount of the gas can lead to long-term brain damage or death.
People identified as suffering from CO poisoning will be given pure oxygen to breathe to speed the excretion of carbon monoxide from the blood. However, the damage may continue for some time.
A specialised form of treatment called Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) can be used to significantly improve the chances of survival and reduce the risk of further damage to the body.
HBOT works by elevating the amount of oxygen in the body to over 1000% normal levels using a hyperbaric (higher than atmospheric pressure) chamber. This treatment for CO poisoning is widely available in most of the world’s hospitals equipped with the necessary facilities.
Further information on CO poisoning
Virtual tour of a hyperbaric chamber
Information for HBOT patients
Homepage of the Hyperbaric Medicine Unit in Aberdeen, Scotland
Links to other hyperbaric facilities