Advertisement

Emergency department visits for carbon monoxide poisoning in the Pacific Northwest

  • Neil B Hampson
    Correspondence
    Reprint Address: Neil B. Hampson, MD, Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Virginia Mason Clinic C7-PUL, 1100 Ninth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98111
    Affiliations
    Department of Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington, USA
    Search for articles by this author

      Abstract

      This study was conducted to determine the annual number of emergency department (ED) visits and rate of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) treatment for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in Washington, Idaho, and Montana. All hospital emergency departments and hyperbaric treatment facilities in the region were surveyed by mail and telephone regarding their patient treatment experience for calendar year 1994. Results demonstrated that there were approximately 2.51 million total ED visits in 1994 in the three states studied. Among these, an estimated 1,325 individuals were seen with carbon monoxide poisoning (52.9 CO cases per 100,000 ED visits; 18.1 CO cases per 100,000 population). A total of 91 patients were treated with HBO2, yielding an HBO2 treatment rate of 6.9% of those evaluated in EDs. Extrapolating these figures to the US population suggests that the number of individuals seeking emergency medical care for CO poisoning is much greater than is commonly quoted. Even after correcting for the known increased rate of CO poisoning in the Pacific Northwest, the incidence of nonfatal poisoning appears to be significantly higher than may be appreciated from previous reports.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Journal of Emergency Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Cobb N
        • Etzel R.A
        Unintentional carbon monoxide-related deaths in the United States, 1979 through 1988.
        JAMA. 1991; 266: 659-663
        • CDC
        Deaths from motor-vehicle-related unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning-Colorado, 1996, New Mexico, 1980–1995, and United States, 1979–1992.
        MMWR. 1996; 45: 1029-1032
      1. National Injury Information Clearinghouse, Consumer Product Safety Commission.

        • Schaplowsky A.F
        • Oglesbay F.B
        • Morrison J.H
        • et al.
        Carbon monoxide contamination of the living environment.
        J Environ Health. 1974; 36: 569-573
      2. Population Division, Bureau of the Census, US Department of Commerce. Estimates of the population of states: July 1, 1990 to July 1, 1994.

        • CDC
        Carbon monoxide intoxication–A preventable environmental health hazard.
        MMWR. 1982; 31: 529-531
        • CDC
        Carbon monoxide poisoning associated with a propane-powered floor burnisher–Vermont, 1992.
        MMWR. 1993; 42: 726-728
        • Ely E.W
        • Moorehead B
        • Haponik E.F
        Warehouse workers’ headache.
        Am J Med. 1995; 98: 145-155
        • Hampson N.B
        • Norkool D.M
        Carbon monoxide poisoning in children riding in the back of pickup trucks.
        JAMA. 1992; 267: 538-540
        • Hampson N.B
        • Kramer C.C
        • Dunford R.G
        • et al.
        Carbon monoxide poisoning from indoor burning of charcoal briquettes.
        JAMA. 1994; 271: 52-53
        • Ilano A.L
        • Raffin T.A
        Management of carbon monoxide poisoning.
        Chest. 1990; 97: 165-169
        • Kirkpatrick J.N
        Occult carbon monoxide poisoning.
        West J Med. 1987; 146: 52-56
        • Lisella F.S
        • Johnson W
        • Holt K
        Mortality from carbon monoxide in Georgia 1961–1973.
        Med Assoc Georgia. 1978; 67: 98-100
        • Sadovnikoff N
        • Varon J
        • Sternbach G.L
        Carbon monoxide poisoning.
        Postgrad Med. 1992; 92: 86-96
        • Silvers S.M
        • Hampson N.B
        Carbon monoxide poisoning among recreational boaters.
        JAMA. 1995; 24: 1614-1616
        • Turnbull T.L
        • Hart R.G
        • Strange G.R
        • et al.
        Emergency department screening for unsuspected carbon monoxide exposure.
        Ann Emerg Med. 1988; 7: 478-483
        • Baker M.D
        • Henretig F.M
        • Ludwig S
        Carboxyhemoglobin levels in children with nonspecific flu-like symptoms.
        J Pediatr. 1988; 113: 501-504
        • Barret L
        • Danel V
        • Faure J
        Carbon monoxide poisoning.
        Clin Toxicol. 1985; 23: 309-313
        • Grace T.W
        • Platt F.W
        Subacute carbon monoxide poisoning.
        JAMA. 1981; 246: 1698-1700
        • Hampson N.B
        • Dunford R.G
        • Kramer
        • et al.
        Selection criteria utilized for hyperbaric oxygen treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning.
        J Emerg Med. 1995; 13: 227-231