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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and Respiration

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A patient comes to your office and asks you what carbon monoxide poisoning is. How do you answer? What are the symptoms? On the basis of what you have learned about the process of respiration, what is happening at the cellular level?

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Solution Summary

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas produced by gas appliances and other sources. CO can cause health problems and even death in those exposed to the gas. Carbon monoxide displaces oxygen from hemoglobin, resulting in decreased oxygen being carried in the bloodstream and to the body's tissues. CO also directly inhibits cellular respiration by binding to cytochrome c oxidase.

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When responding to the patient who is asking about carbon monoxide poisoning you should begin by telling them about carbon monoxide (CO). For instance, you can explain that it is a colorless and odorless gas that is toxic. You should also explain that that carbon monoxide poisoning is a result of the gas building up in a home, workplace, or other closed environment. This build up of gas can be due to a gas appliance that is not functioning properly or from improper venting of a gas appliance, stove, or fireplace (CDC, 2013). You can learn more about risks factors for carbon monoxide poisoning from the CDC or OSHA websites that are included in the reference list.

In order to list the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, you should use a trustworthy and reliable medical ...

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