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Carbon Monoxide Exhaust Leak
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Carbon Monoxide Exhaust Leak

Hello.  I've recently been experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning  -- more strictly, vertigo, headache, and cloudy attention, and sometimes feeling like I'm forgetting to breathe, followed by deep breaths.  My car has had a header gasket leak for several months, and my symptoms have progressively gotten worse.  During possible exposure, my lungs are heavy and flow with mucus, cough, etc...  I do not currently have health insurance -- but SHOULD I seek medical assistance? (Hyperbaric chamber, oxygen therapy, other...)  Or simply decrease/prevent further exposure?

Suspected exposure has been between 30-200 PPM for roughly half hour a day for at least two months -- but has not been verified by a CO detector.
Have I procured any sort of CNS damage, or am I being paranoid?
How long does CO stay in and/or affect the CNS (with or without treatment)?

Thanks in advance.
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5 Comments
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1509005_tn?1289950479
Take niacin Vitamin b3. it will detoxify your circulatory system. if you have monoxide poisoning it will be negatively effecting your circulatory system and thus all organs that are linked to your circulatory system. take 250 mg for the first 3 days and jump up to 500 mg for 5 more days. the vitamins are harmless but make sure to get the flushing type it will make you feel itchy and induce redness in your skin for 30 mins but it may be able to clean out any traces of monoxide poisoning in your blood. Also if you can gain access to an oxygen tank that would be great to use while you are treating yourself with the vitamin.
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144586_tn?1284669764
The electrical attraction of CO is verey strong and it stays in the bloodstream for several days. It will eventually disappear from the bloodstream without hyperbaric treatment.

The question is why haven't you purchased an inexpensive  carbon monoxide detector instead of wildly speculating about causuality?

Carbon monoxide in a car is life-threatening. A headgasket should not leak.

There should be no long term damage from exposure.
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Avatar_f_tn
You need to seek medical attention. CO poisoning is cumulative and potentially deadly.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you so much for your replies.

Niacin "may be able to clean out any traces of monoxide poisoning in your blood."  --Is this backed by research for CO? Or based on the notion that B3 is known to flush many toxins out of one's system, like it does with THC?  I was under the assumption that CO is irrevocably bound to red blood cells.

"The question is why haven't you purchased an inexpensive  carbon monoxide detector instead of wildly speculating about causuality?"  --Because wildly speculating about causality is even more inexpensive than a CO detector..... No, good question - I'll do that.  However, I don't think it was extremely "wild". I'm no doctor, but unless I've got some sort of degenerative disease, CO is my only suspected culprit, and I wanted to know what I'm dealing with.  :-)

Thanks again for all the help!
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351246_tn?1379685732
Hi
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
You could be having CO poisoning which causes memory loss, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, depression, hallucination, flu like symptoms, fatigue, impaired judgment etc to name a few. As Caregiver said it can be treated with hyperbaric oxygen which displaces the CO from its binding with hemoglobin. If left untreated the CO-hemoglobin component may persist for 5 hours and repeated exposure can make it persist longer.
In your case chances of permanent damage is less because thank God it was only while you were driving. So if you do not drive the car until it is fixed, half the treatment is done (you no longer face exposure). In all probability the symptoms will settle down on their own. However you must first go to ER and get carboxyhemoglobin level assessed by finger tip saturation monitor. This may not be available at your PCP, hence asking you to go to the ER. If this saturation is very low and you have more of normal hemoglobin, you will be asked to take oxygen by mask for some time and sent home. Full recovery will occur in next few days as there are no neurological symptoms.
As Caregiver suggested, install a CO monitor in car. Take care!
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