Why is diagnosis of carbon monoxide poisoning so difficult?
Diagnosis of carbon monoxide poisoning is technically straightforward but in reality is
difficult to identify.
Testing to see if an unsafe level of carbon monoxide is in
the bloodstream is easy. There are several carbon monoxide
tests that can provide the answer.
However, making the connection to carbon monoxide poisoning as the source of the underlying symptoms and health
issues is the real problem. Few people think to ask the right questions that would lead to a proper diagnosis.
Strange as it would seem, this is not as obvious as people may think.
Often, the first symptoms of carbon
monoxide toxicity while in the body/bloodstream show up as flu like, food poisoning like, or alcohol poisoning
like symptoms: headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, exhaustion, mild incoherence, blurred vision, difficulty
concentrating, and brain fog. Any of these can easily lead to the wrong diagnosis.
It is even more difficult to "prove" that ongoing symptoms, effects and health issues are caused by previous
carbon monoxide exposure/poisoning(s). Once CO levels in
the body/bloodstream have returned to normal it can be [very] difficult to get a confirmed diagnosis.
Doctors and health practitioners are reluctant to make a definite diagnosis based on vague symptoms and
circumstances they have no way of confirming. Unfortunately, this can make health and insurance settlement claims
[much more] difficult.
As symptoms of carbon monoxide
poisoning can be so varied and mimic so many other common health issues, the link to carbon monoxide exposure
is almost always missed. This is true of average people and health care professionals alike.
This makes CO poisoning statistics questionable and
A common sign of CO poisoning is that several family members (including pets) are affected. Even when faced with
more than one member of a household showing similar symptoms a doctor is much more likely to think of a
microbial cause, drug interaction, or even drug overdose.
Missing the connection to carbon monoxide exposure as the source of symptoms is especially true of less
obvious cases (which are the bulk of all cases) such as:
Accurately identifying the link to carbon monoxide and then making a proper diagnosis of carbon
monoxide poisoning more likely when:
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