If you’re accidentally exposed to carbon monoxide, immediate medical attention can make the difference between life or death. Carbon monoxide (CO2) has such a powerful impact on the body that ongoing therapy may be needed to overcome damage and regenerate the body’s innate healing capabilities.
What Is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning occurs when so much CO is in the air (from a building fire, engine exhaust, poorly vented portable heater, etc.), the body replaces the oxygen in red blood cells with carbon monoxide. Tissues and organs are starved for oxygen, leading to serious tissue damage or even death.
CO poisoning from smoke inhalation can be complicated by cyanide poisoning. Other complications can occur from the presence of methylene chloride vapors, a volatile substance in degreasers, solvents, and paint removers.
What Are the Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Within the first few hours, many people experience subtle symptoms but don’t realize that the root cause is carbon monoxide. They often assume the flu or food poisoning is the culprit for these symptoms:
- Loss of balance and dizziness
- Dull headache
- Shortness of breath
Immediate treatment is essential and depends on getting pure oxygen into the system as quickly and efficiently as possible. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is often the answer. HBOT is especially effective in protecting heart and brain tissue, which are highly susceptible to injury from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Treatment for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an important treatment tool for both minor and severe cases of carbon monoxide poisoning. Most of the core functions involved in injury recovery are oxygen-dependent, so it makes sense that increasing oxygen in the body can reverse the effects of carbon monoxide exposure.
Under normal circumstances, oxygen can only make its way through the blood by bonding to the hemoglobin of red blood cells. When carbon monoxide blocks oxygen from entering the red blood cells, the body becomes so deprived of oxygen that it’s’ not enough to simply inhale oxygen — the body needs concentrated oxygen flow to combat carbon monoxide poisoning.
When the body becomes flooded with oxygen through a treatment like HBOT, antibacterial activity immediately increases. Leukocytes, a type of white blood cell, gain strength and momentum from oxygen. They’re able to more effectively kill dangerous bacteria and free radicals while also removing dead cellular debris and carbon monoxide from the body.
Studies show that leukocytes perform best at oxygen levels above 300 mmHg, levels only achievable with supplemental oxygen through HBOT.
We administer the latest hyperbaric technology in a comfortable, private setting. Treatment takes place in a clear acrylic chamber where you comfortably recline and view your surroundings at all times. Our experienced treatment team monitors you throughout the procedure.