Carbon monoxide poisoning

Picture of what happens in blood cells during carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs as carbon monoxide mixes and binds with hemoglobin in the blood to form carboxyhemoglobin (COHb). When carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin, less oxygen gets transported to body tissues and vital organs such as the brain and heart. The bond between carbon monoxide and hemoglobin is approximately 250 times stronger than the bond between oxygen and hemoglobin.

Last Updated: March 18, 2008

Medical Review: Caroline S. Rhoads, MD - Internal Medicine & R. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care, Medical Toxicology

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