Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Children and Pregnant People: Recognition and Prevention
A Resource for Health Professionals
Summary of Key Points posted on Jan 31, 2022
What is Carbon Monoxide? posted on Jan 31, 2022
What are Potential Sources of CO? posted on Jan 31, 2022
Carbon Monoxide Detectors posted on Jan 31, 2022
Who is at Risk? posted on Jan 31, 2022
Does CO Poisoning Impact Pregnancy Outcomes? posted on Jan 31, 2022
What is the Pathophysiology of CO Poisoning? posted on Jan 31, 2022
What are the Symptoms of CO Poisoning? posted on Jan 31, 2022
How to Diagnose and Evaluate CO Poisoning? posted on Jan 31, 2022
If it is suspected that a child has been poisoned by Carbon Monoxide: posted on Jan 31, 2022
Important CO Poisoning Prevention Tips for Families posted on Jan 31, 2022
To download this page as a fact sheet, click here.
Additional Resources for Health Professionals
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- American Thoracic Society. In utero exposure to carbon monoxide increases infants' risk of poor lung function. Science Daily. Accessed on June 10, 2020 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180521092740.htm
- Beppu T. The role of MR imaging in assessment of brain damage from carbon monoxide poisoning: a review of the literature. American Journal Neuroradiology. 2014: 35(4), 625–631. https://doi.org/10.3174/ajnr.A3489
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nonfatal, unintentional, non-fire-related carbon monoxide exposures--United States, 2004-2006. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). 57(33), 896–899.
- Delomenie M, Schneider F, Beaudet J, Gabriel R, Bednarek N and Graesslin O. Carbon monoxide poisoning during pregnancy: presentation of a rare severe case with fetal bladder complications. Case Reports in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2015;687975 https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/687975
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- Gummin, DD, Mowry JB, Spyker, DA, Brooks DE, Osterthaler KM, Banner W. 2017 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poison Data System (NPDS): 35th Annual Report. Clinical Toxicology. 2018; 56(12), 1213–1415. https://doi.org/10.1080/15563650.2018.1533727
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- Ralston JD, Hampson NB. Incidence of severe unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning differs across racial/ethnic categories. Public Health Reports. 2000;115(1):46-51. doi:10.1093/phr/115.1.46
- Johnson-Arbor K, Liebman DL, Carter EM. A survey of residential carbon monoxide detector utilization among Connecticut Emergency Department patients. Clinical Toxicology. 2012;50(5):384-389. doi:10.3109/15563650.2012.683576
- Schimmel J, George N, Schwarz J, Yousif S, Suner S, Hack JB. Carboxyhemoglobin Levels Induced by Cigarette Smoking Outdoors in Smokers. Journal of Medical Toxicology. 2018;14(1):68-73. doi:10.1007/s13181-017-0645
- Juul N, Friedenberg A. Carboxyhemoglobin as High as K2. In: C43. DRUG INDUCED LUNG DISEASE: CASE REPORTS. American Thoracic Society International Conference Abstracts. American Thoracic Society; 2017:A5573-A5573. doi:10.1164/ajrccm-conference.2017.195.1_MeetingAbstracts.A557
- Hampson NB, Piantadosi CA, Thom SR, Weaver LK. Practice recommendations in the diagnosis, management, and prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2012;186:1095–1101. https://doi.org/10.1164/rccm.201207-1284CI
- Hampson NB. Noninvasive pulse CO-oximetry expedites evaluation and management of patients with carbon monoxide poisoning. American Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2012;30(9), 2021–2024. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2012.03.026
- Koren G, Sharav T, Pastuszak A, Garrettson LK, Hill K, Samson I, Rorem M, King A, Dolgin JE. A Multicenter, Prospective Study of Fetal Outcome Following Accidental Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Pregnancy. Reproductive Toxicology. 1991; 5:397-403. doi: 10.1016/0890-6238(91)90002-w
- Kuschner WG, Blanc PD. Gases and other airborne toxicants. Current Diagnosis And Treatment: Occupational And Environmental Medicine (pp. 559 - 591). McGraw-Hill Medical.
- Suner S, Jay G. Carbon Monoxide Has Direct Toxicity on the Myocardium Distinct from Effects of Hypoxia in an Ex Vivo Rat Heart Model. Academic Emergency Medicine. 2008;15(1):59-65. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1553-2712.2007.00012.x
- Buboltz JB, Robins M. Hyperbaric Treatment of Carbon Monoxide Toxicity. StatPearls. Accessed February 10, 2021. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470531/
- Macnow TE, Waltzman, ML. Carbon monoxide poisoning in children: diagnosis and management in the emergency department. Pediatric Emergency Medical Practice. 2016;13(9), 1–24. PMID: 27547917.
- Mimura K, Harada M, Sumiyoshi S, Tohya G, Takagi M, Fujita E, Takata A, Tatetsu S. Seishin shinkeigaku zasshi. Psychiatria Neurology Japonica. 1999; 101(7), 592–618.
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- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. QuickStats: Number of Deaths Resulting from Unintentional Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, by Month and Year, National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2010–2015. Morbidity and Morality Weekly Report (MMWR). 2017;66:234. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6608a9.
- Rajaonarison JJC, Nithart A, Rakotomahenina H, Randaoharison PG, Dallay D,et al. Unintentional Acute Carbon Monoxide Poisoning During Pregnancy: Five Years of Experience in Bordeaux. Global Journal of Reproductive Medicine. 2018; 6(1): 555679. DOI: 10.19080/GJORM.2018.06.555679.
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- Specific Poisons and Drugs: Diagnosis and Treatment (2012). In K.R. Olson, I.B. Anderson, N.L. Benowitz, P.D. Blanc, R.F. Clark, T.E. Kearney, S.Y. Kim-Katz, A.B. Wu (Eds.), Poisoning & Drug Overdose. McGraw-Hill Education;
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- Wylie, BJ. The Ghana randomized air pollution and health study: A cluster-randomized trial of clean cookstoves to improve obstetric outcomes. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2017;216(1)S23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2016.11.923
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- Kim JK, Coe CJ. Clinical Study on Carbon Monoxide Intoxication in Children. Yonsei Medical Journal. 1987 Dec;28(4):266-273. https://doi.org/10.3349/ymj.1918.104.22.1686
- Khan K, Sharief N. Chronic carbon monoxide poisoning in children. Acta Paediatrica. 1995;84(7):742. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1995.tb13747.
The Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs) are supported by cooperative agreement FAIN: NU61TS000296 with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also provides support through Inter-Agency Agreement DW-75-95877701 with CDC/ATSDR. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports the PEHSUs as the National Program Office. The content on this website has not been formally disseminated by CDC/ATSDR or the EPA and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy. Use of trade names that may be mentioned is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the CDC/ATSDR or EPA.
The information contained on this website should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your/your child’s primary care provider. There may be variations in treatment that your provider may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
Last updated: January 2022