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HOME > J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol > Volume 10(2); 2012 > Article
Clinical Characteristics of Intentional Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Min Ki Cho, Yang Weon Kim, Kyeong Ryong Lee, Kyung Woo Lee, Jang Young Lee, Gyu Chong Cho, Junho Cho, Hyun Jong Kim, Seong Hwan Kim, Sung Phil Chung, Hahn Shick Lee
Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology 2012;10(2):73-79
DOI: https://doi.org/
Published online: December 31, 2012
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1Department of Emergency Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine
10Department of Emergency Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine
11Department of Emergency Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Inje University College of Medicine
3Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Konkuk University
4Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Gyeongsang National University
5Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Eulji University
6Department of Emergency Medicine, Kangdong Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University Medical Center
7Department of Emergency Medicine, Inje University, Haeundae Paik Hospital
8Department of Emergency Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine
9Department of Emergency Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify the changes in the characteristics of patients with carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, as well as the distinctive differences in intentionally exposed patients. Methods: The medical records of CO poisoning patients, who visited nine emergency departments between January 2010 and December 2011, were reviewed retrospectively. The clinical information including age, gender, hospitalization, type of discharge, cause and location of exposure, site of onset, concentration of initial blood carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), methods of treatment and presence of neurological complications was examined. The subjects were divided into an intentional and non-intentional group and the differences between them was compared. Results: A total 209 subjects were recruited. The median age was 38 years (29~49.5 years). They frequently complained of nausea and vomiting, and the most common exposures occurred in winter, normally in the home. The cause of exposure was usually fire, followed by incomplete combustion of fuels. The median initial blood COHb was 13.15%. The proportion of intentionally exposed patients was 21%. They were significantly younger, more frequently discharged against medical advice, and showed a higher initial blood COHb level (22.85%) than the non-intentional group. Conclusion: This study suggests that those with intentional CO poisoning are normally discharged against medical advice even when they have a higher initial COHb level. An adequate explanation of the delayed neurologic sequelae and short term follow-up observation is recommended for those patients with intentional exposure.

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JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology