Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas. It is slightly lighter than air. It consists of only two atoms, each from the oxygen and carbon which are covalently bonded. It can be produced from the incomplete oxidation of carbon compounds. This means that there is not enough oxygen to produce carbon dioxide (CO2) (Laura, A., 2007).
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Even if it is metabolically produced, CO can be so harmful to the life of man, especially when taken in large concentrations. Because of its nature, it can be so difficult to detect it. Hence, it may lead to poisoning and eventual death. According to biological research, it can combine with Hemoglobin in the blood cells to produce Carboxyhemoglobin. This is a very dangerous compound that prevents the normal reaction of oxygen and Hemoglobin which is having a higher affinity for it.
Hence, there will be no smooth flow of oxygen to the body tissues. It can happen in an enclosed room with the inadequate flow of oxygen. For instance, when a person using a charcoal stove in a poorly ventilated room will experience such a problem. Depending on the level of exposure, it may lead to a seizure, coma, fatality or death. Meanwhile, carbon monoxide pollution can take place o a large scale.
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Carbon monoxide screening
The patients visiting hospitals need to be screened if they have CO in their bodies. This should be done particularly in the emergency rooms where the high concentration of this gas can lead to death, heart and brain damage. Some of the tools used include the Masimo, a revolutionary sensor that uses light wavelengths in the collection and analysis of the stream of CO data. Hence, t measures the level of CO in the blood alongside the pulse rate. On the other hand, CO-Oximeter can also be used by placing the sensor on the middle or index finger of the patient. Then the data collected from here is documented and used against any symptom of the gas or oxygen saturation in the body (Barker, S.J. & Tremper, K.K., 2007).
After carrying out all the above procedure and finding out that there is CO in the body of the patient, an appropriate treatment should be administered. However, the most recommended one is the hyperbaric oxygen treatment. It properly works when 100% oxygen is delivered to counteract the amount of CO in the body. All these should take place in a special chamber under a high pressure. If this is done, the patient will be saved from a condition that would otherwise impose a great danger to their lives.
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At the same time, individuals should understand such skills and apply them in their homes. This can enable them to protect themselves at the personal level without necessarily seeking for medical care from the hospitals. They should acquire the right public health education on how to use the detectors in their houses. It is vital for them to be aware of how to safely operate sensitive household appliances such as the internal combustion engines, fireplaces and heaters. Besides, they should understand that these detectors should be installed next to the gadgets like heaters, internal combustion engines and the fireplaces. They should not be installed next to the ceiling boards. Otherwise, they will not work properly (Weaver, L.K., 2009).
In conclusion, I would like to point out that CO can cause a lot of dangers to the life of human beings especially if not detected in time. Everyone should be informed on the fundamental precautionary measures like screening. It is readily available and cheaper to maintain because it only requires to rely on batteries. Moreover, it can be better if it is done in a timely manner to prevent any possible dangers.