Q:  My dad was taken to the ER with carbon monoxide poisoning. What are the symptoms and is there anything we need to worry about after this, if we got the problem fixed in his house?

A:  This occurs when you breathe air with too much carbon monoxide. The gas has no color, taste or odor. It replaces the oxygen carried in the blood, so the organs in the body cannot work properly. You mostly hear about this problem when someone leaves their car on in a closed garage. This time of the year, when we first turn on our heating systems, is a prime time for this problem. It is important to have the utility company or fire department check it out to make sure the problem is fixed. You can get carbon monoxide detectors for your home, as well. Symptoms include headaches, nausea and dizziness. If it gets bad enough, you may pass out. You can become confused, sweat, vomit or experience a fast heart rate or chest pain. Long term problems include changes in vision, concentration, coordination or behavior.

Dr. Rick Casey

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