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The Impact of Treatment with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure on Acute Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Bahadır Caglar (a1), Suha Serin (a2), Gokhan Yilmaz (a3), Alper Torun (a4) and Ismet Parlak (a5)...



Approximately 50,000 patients per year present at emergency departments (EDs) because of carbon monoxide (CO) intoxication. The hypothesis of this study was that the half-life of CO and the regression period of complaints could be reduced more rapidly by applying oxygen with the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) modality using a non-invasive mechanical ventilator.


The patients were divided into Group 1 and Group 2 in terms of the treatment method applied. Patients in Group 1 received FiO2 1.0 15 l/minute oxygen at room temperature for at least 30 minutes with a non-rebreather mask. Patients in Group 2 received FiO2 1.0 oxygen at 12 cmH2O pressure with non-invasive mechanical ventilation for at least 30 minutes with an oronasal mask in the CPAP modality.


The median values (interquartile range) of carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) levels at zero and 30 minutes of patients were 19% (8) and 14% (6) in Group 1 and 22% (8) and nine percent (3) in Group 2; a median difference of six percent (2) was detected in Group 1 and of 13% (4) in Group 2 in the first 30 minutes (P <.001). When the symptoms of the patients were examined, the median values of Group 1 and Group 2 at zero minutes were both eight units and at 30 minutes were five and three units, respectively. A decrease of five units was determined in the median of Group 2 in the first 30 minutes, and a decrease of two units in the median of Group 1 (P <.001).


The use of CPAP was determined to more rapidly reduce COHb level as opposed to high-flow oxygen therapy. It is also thought that it may enable earlier discharge by reducing the duration of the emergency follow-up since it provides a faster improvement in the symptoms of the patients.


Corresponding author

Correspondence: Bahadir Caglar, MD Emergency Medicine Clinic Elazig Training and Research Hospital Elazig, Turkey E-mail:


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The Impact of Treatment with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure on Acute Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Bahadır Caglar (a1), Suha Serin (a2), Gokhan Yilmaz (a3), Alper Torun (a4) and Ismet Parlak (a5)...


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