Women and children may have more severe symptoms of carbon
monoxide poisoning at lower carbon monoxide levels than men because women and
children usually have fewer red blood cells.
What Affects the Test
Smokers already have some carbon monoxide in their blood.
who are regularly exposed to car exhaust, such as taxi drivers and traffic
police, often have high carbon monoxide levels (8% to 12%).
What To Think About
A person with symptoms and possible exposure to carbon monoxide,
such as someone who lives in a house with an old heating system and complains
of ongoing headaches, should be tested for carbon monoxide
A person who may have carbon monoxide poisoning should
be removed from the place of likely exposure and given oxygen to breathe before
carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected, other tests (such as arterial blood
gases and a complete blood count) may be done. An arterial blood gas (ABG) test
may be done to determine whether symptoms are caused by carbon monoxide
poisoning or by another disease that causes similar symptoms.