A guide to carbon monoxide...

Carbon monoxide poisoning and brain injury/trauma

Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause cellular injury/trauma throughout the brain and body. It deprives all cells of oxygen and has a toxic effect.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause physical brain injury/trauma

Physical brain injuries are typically caused by physical impacts. However, carbon monoxide poisoning can cause physical injury from cellular destruction/damage caused by oxygen deprivation.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause toxic brain injury/trauma

Toxic brain injury/trauma can be caused by exposure to any number of neurotoxins including heavy metals, pesticides, solvents and fuels, chemicals in the work place, heavy smoking, heavy drinking, heavy drug use, or the toxic effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause emotional brain injury/trauma

Emotional injury/trauma can be caused when a person perceives they have little or no control over what is happening to them.

  • Acute emotional injury/trauma can be caused by any event that has a strong one-time emotional impact such as being a victim of a crime, the death of a loved one, or being in an accident. A carbon monoxide poisoning accident often violates a survivor in what is supposed to be a safe environment: their home, vehicle, work, camper, etc. The survivor did not see it coming and had no control over what was happening.

  • Chronic emotional injury/trauma can be caused by ongoing stress such as living under constant financial stress, being in an abusive relationship, or even living with partner that has a brain injury. After poisoning a survivor could face high levels of ongoing stress due to major life changes.

The carbon monoxide poisoning triple whammy effect

Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause a "triple whammy effect" of physical, toxic, and emotional injury/trauma all at the same time. Any of which can impact brain functioning and the physical, mental, emotional and behavioral, and social aspects of a survivors life.

All forms of brain injury/trauma can alter brain functioning

Brain injury/trauma can cause parts of the brain to "lock" or easily be "triggered" into a fight, flight, or freeze response which then affects behavior in many ways ranging from subtle to extreme.

Brain injury/trauma can cause the brain to get stuck into or easily switch into a "hypervigilant" state, meaning the brain locks into a state of trying to be ready for what may be coming next. This can cause the brain (and therefore the person) to be easily triggered, reactive, and unstable.

The brain is unable to be "hypervigilant" all the time. This can result in a range of problems including difficulty concentrating, impaired memory, emotional outbursts, slowed thinking, depression, exhaustion, and other effects.

This can disrupt sleep rhythms and the ability to sleep properly which then further negatively impacts health and the life of the survivor.

Also see:
Why is carbon monoxide dangerous?
The science behind carbon monoxide poisoning
The effects of carbon monoxide poisoning
How symptoms and effects can show themselves after poisoning

Your comments about carbon monoxide poisoning...

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Questions? Want to share your opinion? Do it here...
2 hours
bobby from new jersey
Was in a basement with a running generator for two hours, I was unconscious, will I make it?9

Mother carbon monoxide poisoned seriously
sarah from thunderbay
My mother attempted suicide 2 yrs ago by inhaling fumes from charcoal in an enclosed space. She inhaled fumes for over 48hrs, and was hospitalized for 5mnths, at first she was almost vegetative and then slowly was able to be able to do daily functions. She damaged her muscles but these have repaired. Now she lives on her own but is a total different person. She looks 'blank', does not communicate actively, not much feedback although she listens to me talk and talk and talk day in and out. She looks like she is being very cautious -in doing things, when it comes to dealing with others-almost like she is scared. She is very agreeable and almost comes across like she cant make cognitive decisions too well. I did notice a period when she was doing upgrading (although she has post secondary education) and was involved with mental health- doing things routinely like painting, or walking that she seemed more 'with' it. Since she has stopped doing activities and being physically active she has retreated to her state of disassociation and vacantness. Her doctor does nothing to advovcate for her or help me understand other then suggest I support her and be there for companionship and be nice to her. I have not been verbally abusive, at times I am very frustrated with her lack of involvement and lack of doing but I am fearful to talk to her. I ask her frequently if she is ok and she says yes. She went from being a very independent woman who was very talkative and active, working over full time hours and keeping me in line as well as my neighbors, very self assured and disciplinary in regards to me and my child to being very disatatched and vacant. Not engaging in two way communication and no desire to do anything alone or to suggest activities or solutions.
Is it possible through excersise (mental and physical ) that her brain can repair itself? Please offer ,e advice on what to do to help her and tell me what is the norm and what I can expect. Desperate for advice and hope. or is it what it is and I need to deal with it? if so how can I help myself to help her. I love her a great deal and miss the mom I knew. thanks.

I have a Carbon Monoxide story for you
PWalter jr from Live in Washington

In 2008 July I needed to replace the hot water in heater in my house. Ah thats easy.. couple water lines, no sweat.... I did not VENTILATE the small wash room where the Furnace water heater washer dryer was.... I disconnected the venting to the hot water heater..and the furnace.... Finished the hot water heater maybe 3 hours while my now ex while was shopping. Then it hit me while she had driven us to the hardware store. Why are we here? WTF are we doing? WE are what? changing the water heater? Why? No WTF are we doing.... We got back to the house and the neighbors had come over to see how I had done.. I was not talking now. for a while i think I was not talking? But awake. I will have to ask the ex about that one. She took me to the hospital the next morning. I am not sure what they said at the hospital. I can remember parts of it, but I don't remember what they said was wrong or what to do other than go home you'll get sicker here..I had a couple days off work and tried to go back but was not really there they sent me home. would not let me drive myself. BTW got fired from that job a few months later...

I would like to continue but it think it would not be too good to throw it all at you at once...
Still in the cloud...............

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