Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

This is about carbon monoxide poisoning. Last fall, we started up our furnace, and about 2 weeks or so later, my husband lost his job for being rude to a patient. I know my husband, and he is not the type to be rude to anyone. He has brought home letters to me from patients saying that he is so kind and wonderful to them. So, my husband is unemployed now.

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Yesterday, our furnace went out. When the people came to repair the furnace, they said that the furnace shut off because of the carbon monoxide emissions.

The day our furnace quit working, my husband accused me of something that I didn't do. It was irrational and that is the day the furnace stopped working.

Have any of you had similar experiences?

By Carol L.

April 9, 20100 found this helpful

I don't know if a certain level would cause changes in personality/behavior, and what level is fatal. I'd recommend giving your (or his) doctor's office a call, and run these questions past the nurse.

If the exposure COULD affect his behavior, I'd be curious to know how long (if) it would take to go back to normal. And if he's been exposed for months, I'd be worried about long-term effects/damage anyway (for everyone in the household).

If they say that exposure wouldn't do anything to his personality, maybe there is an underlying medical issue. The more I think about it, the more I think you should give your doctor's office a call. They might be able to give you some answers over the phone. Best of luck!

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April 9, 20100 found this helpful

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning range from mild flu-like symptoms (such as a headache or stomachache without fever) to severe signs of heart and brain damage. Prolonged exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide over many days may result in death.

People respond differently to the same level of carbon monoxide. Because of this, carbon monoxide poisoning can range from mild to severe in different people with the same level of exposure.

A person who has mild symptoms usually does not even suspect carbon monoxide poisoning. Early symptoms can mimic the flu or a number of other conditions with similar symptoms, which can make it difficult for a doctor to diagnose. It is possible that a person with more severe poisoning may not even be aware of the seriousness of the condition because the exposure to carbon monoxide may cause fatigue and confusion. If a person has symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning or if carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected, first get the person out of the polluted area, and then call 911 .

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often similar to symptoms of other illnesses. These symptoms include:2

Headache.

Nausea, vomiting (often seen in children).

Dizziness.

Fatigue.

More severe symptoms may include:

Confusion, drowsiness.

Rapid breathing or pulse rate.

Vision problems.

Chest pain.

Convulsions, seizures.

Loss of consciousness.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning change with different blood concentrations of carboxyhemoglobin (hemoglobin that has bonded with carbon monoxide instead of oxygen).

Some situations may provide clues to carbon monoxide exposure. For example, if a family or group of people who live or work in the same building complain of headaches or flu-like symptoms, these symptoms may be caused by high levels of carbon monoxide. Also, family pets living in the home may become sick, which can be another clue to diagnosing carbon monoxide poisoning. In the winter, unexplained headaches, nausea, or dizziness may be caused by heating systems that are not working correctly and are causing a buildup of carbon monoxide.

Delayed symptoms or long-term adverse effects of carbon monoxide poisoning can occur days or weeks after poisoning. The delayed symptoms or effects may include memory loss, changes in personality, disorientation, impaired reasoning ability, and behavioral or learning difficulties. Good luck.

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Anonymous Flag
April 10, 20100 found this helpful

Talking to a doctor is definitely in order and you might want to print out (and search the net more for direct links for proof) what kffrmw88 posted here and take a doctors note, the printout and a copy of testimony from the furnace repair company to your former bosses office. It's possible your husband can get his job back. And don't forget to have the problem causing the carbon monoxide problem fixed too if it hasn't already been done!

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April 10, 20100 found this helpful

Last winter I would set off the monoxide detector when I removed my plush housecoat in the morning.

It hangs on a hook beside the detector. Must have been something in my physical system because it doesn't do it any more. I have a stalker and was on edge at night.

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April 10, 20100 found this helpful

I agree about seeing your doctor asap for your whole family. I had a poisoning happen to me back in 1988. I was attending hair school at the time. The basics class started all getting sick, like they had the flu. There were major complaints about headaches also.

I remember doing a haircut and a few of the clients started saying they didn't feel well. Then like flies, some stylists would just fall. I remember me and my client were talking about it and she was saying she felt funny and I had a headache and it kept getting worse and worse and then I woke up in the hospital.

We all got oxygen and me and about 4 others were the highest levels so we had to stay the night in the hospital but were ok. Man, that headache was the worse headache I have ever had, and I get migraines! I was nauseated also. It was really bad. What happened is the pizza place connected on to us had a malfunction in their furnace and somehow we were connected and our furnace started pulling in all the junk.

Maybe that is why I get headaches to this day, not sure. I get very nervous about that. Ours happened fast though so I don't know what a prolonged case would do. Please, just get checked! Hope you are all ok. God Bless!

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April 12, 20100 found this helpful

I want to thank all of you for responding to me on this carbon monoxide question. I just had a dog get sick (vomiting) a couple of weeks earlier, and the Vet clinic said it was too many fats in her system from fatty treats. Then this happened all of a sudden.

I called the Vet about the furnace, and they said no, the furnace fumes most likely did not cause her to vomit, because it was a couple of weeks later that the furnace went out.

My husband hasn't said anything accusing/irrational since the furnace has been repaired--and yes, the furnace has been repaired!

Thank you, all of you for your help! I really appreciate it, and I will do more online checking about furnaces and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Thanks to all of you again!

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