- 20th March 2015
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that kills numerous people each year and injures many more. It is often referred to as the silent killer; it has no odour or taste and cannot be seen. Like oxygen, CO enters the body through the lungs during the normal breathing process. It competes with oxygen by replacing it in the red blood cells, thereby reducing the flow of oxygen to the heart, brain and other vital organs. In high concentrations CO can kill in minutes. Many cases of reported carbon monoxide poisoning indicate that while victims are aware they are not feeling well, they become disorientated and unable to save themselves by either exiting the building or calling for assistance. Exposure during sleep in particularly dangerous as the victim does not usually wake up.