Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning vary according to the intensity of the exposure.
The main symptoms of a light poisoning are:
Symptoms of a more serious poisoning are:
Problems with vision
Symptoms of an severe poisoning are:
Problems coordinating movement or muscle paralysis, which prevent the person from leaving the premises
Loss of consciousness
What to do when you have symptoms or a carbon monoxide alarm goes off
A carbon monoxide alarm is a device that can detect the gas.
If you have symptoms of poisoning, the carbon monoxide alarm goes off or not :
Think of your safety before anything.
Leave the premises and go outside
Dial 9-1-1 or call the Centre antipoison du Québec (poison control centre) at 1 800 463-5060
Leave the door open when exiting the premises in order to completely ventilate the place
Wait for the authorisation of a firefighter before returning inside even for a few minutes
If you do not have symptoms of poisoning, but your carbon monoxide alarm goes off :
Wait for the authorisation of a firefighter before returning inside even for a few minutes.
Do not use your fuel-burning appliances again before having them checked by a qualified person
It is necessary to consult a physician to treat carbon monoxide poisoning.
Administration of high levels of oxygen is the standard treatment. If the person’s condition is more serious, the physician may prescribe hyperbaric oxygen therapy. For this treatment, the person is placed in a closed chamber in which they receive pressurised oxygen.
Severe poisoning can cause permanent effects.
The following effects can appear during a period of 2 to 40 days after poisoning, even if treated:
Neurological disorders that can cause problems with coordination of movement