Hyperbaric Oxygen for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
A. Abramovich, A. Shupak, Y. Ramon, O. Shoshani, Y. Bentur, G. Bar-Josef, U. Taitelman
Israel Naval Medical Institute, Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps, Haifa and Israel Poison Information Center, Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa
Severe cases of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from all over Israel are treated at the Israel Naval Medical Institute with hyperbaric oxygen (HBO). Between 1.11.94 and 15.2.95, 24 cases of CO poisoning were treated. Poisoning was usually due to domestic gas-fired heating systems, CO being the only toxin involved. Since delay between termination of CO exposure and arrival at the emergency department averaged 55 minutes, the level of carboxyhemoglobin measured on presentation did not always reflect the true severity of the poisoning. Poisoning was defined as severe and requiring HBO treatment when 1 or more of the following indications was present: evidence of neurological involvement, cardiographic signs of acute ischemic injury, metabolic acidosis, carboxyhemoglobin level greater than 25%, and pregnancy. 20 (84%) recovered consciousness during the course of 1 session (90 min.) of HBO treatment (p2 2.8 ATA) or immediately thereafter, with resolution of other signs of CO poisoning. 3 required a second treatment session before their symptoms resolved. A patient who arrived in deep coma with severe cerebral edema died. HBO is an important element in the combined treatment of severe CO poisoning. There should be greater awareness of the danger of CO poisoning and the means of preventing it, both among medical staff and the population as a whole, mainly in areas in which cold weather requires use of heating systems, which may be gas-fired.