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Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning

Last updated  19 February 2019

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek urgent medical attention.

 CO Poisoning symptoms

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • Nausea/sickness
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness/tiredness/general lethargy
  • Headaches, becoming severe as exposure to carbon monoxide continues
  • Impaired mental ability/confusion
  • Chest or stomach pains
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty in breathing
  • Pink skin and bright red lips in severe poisoning cases

If you suspect you have carbon monoxide poisoning, don't hesitate to visit your GP as soon as possible. Diagnosing carbon monoxide poisoning is not easy because it can be like many other conditions, such as food poisoning or the ‘flu, so explain what you think is wrong to the Doctor.

Ask for either a blood and/or sample of breath to be taken without delay so they can measure any build up in your blood. Your body's carbon monoxide level falls the longer you are away from the contaminated environment, making it harder to diagnose and detect.

For more information about its symptoms please visit NHS Direct


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