, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 153-154

Hyperbaric Oxygen for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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The main mechanism of carbon monoxide (CO) toxicity is tissue hypoxia. Hence, since 1868, oxygen supplementation has been used as antidotal therapy. As a result of animal studies that suggested a beneficial effect of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) in CO poisoning, HBO therapy has been implemented in human poisoning as early as 1960. HBO increases the amount of oxygen dissolved in the plasma and diminishes tissue hypoxia by shortening the elimination half-life of carboxyhaemoglobin (COHb), improving oxygen delivery to injured tissues, preventing leukocyte-mediated inflammatory changes and the resulting lipid peroxidation in the brain, and reducing cerebral oedema as a result of vasoconstriction.[16]

The main objectives of HBO therapy are to treat serious end-organ damage (e.g. myocardial ischaemia, coma, seizures) and to prevent the development of persistent and/or delayed neurological sequelae. The strong biological plausibility of the efficacy of normobaric oxygen (NBO) and HBO together with