Last Tuesday, 10th, a young couple was poisoned by carbon monoxide (CO) following a bath in a campsite in Vila Real. After help arrived, the couple was transported to the Hospital Center of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro and then to the Pedro Hispano Hospital, in Matosinhos, where they have been receiving treatments at the Hyperbaric Medicine Unit. Currently, the young couple’s clinical status has been evolving favorably and they are out of danger already.

Carbon monoxide poisoning – burnt natural gas, methane or propane – is one of the most common fatal poisoning to occur, it occurs through inhalation of incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons. Symptoms manifest themselves acutely and can cause: headache, nausea, angina, weakness, dyspnea, loss of consciousness, seizures and coma. In cases of greater exposure and/or late diagnosis, neuropsychiatric symptoms may also be developed.

The factors that originate this type of poisoning are: fires in homes, sealed cars, gas heaters, hot water heaters, ovens, wood or charcoal stoves and querosene heaters.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy reduces and delays neuropsychiatric symptoms as well as eliminates the body’s carbon monoxide levels.