Original Article

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: from the Perspective of Ten Years and 2417 Cases


  • Nurettin Özgür Doğan
  • Gökhan Aksel
  • Sertaç Güler
  • Fikret Bildik
  • Okşan Derinöz
  • Ahmet Demircan

Received Date: 10.12.2011 Accepted Date: 03.01.2012 Eurasian J Emerg Med 2012;11(3):157-160


Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is a common problem in various countries, especially in Winter months. CO exposure results in the formation of carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), which is responsible for toxicity symptoms. In this study, we aim to demonstrate the demographic features and seasonal variations of this particular public health problem.

Materials and Methods:

We retrospectively evaluated hospital police reports and medical records of 2417 ED patients diagnosed with CO poisoning between 1999 and 2009. Sources of exposure, seasonal variation and demographic characteristics were analyzed.


The mean age of the patients, of whom 1418 (58.7%) were female, was 29±18 years. While 1708 patients (70.7%) were admitted to adult ED, 709 (29.3%) patients were admitted to pediatric ED. January and subsequent Winter months represented the most dangerous periods for CO exposure. No intentional (suicidal attempt) exposure to CO intoxication was reported and the major cause for intoxication included unsecured stoves and gas heaters.


Emergency physicians should be familiar with symptoms and remedies of CO intoxication, which still constitutes a serious health problem.

Keywords: Carbon monoxide, poisoning, emergency medicine