Intoxicación por monóxido de carbono

Qué es, cuáles son los síntomas, cómo se produce y se previene la intoxicación por monóxido de carbono.

 

¿Qué es el monóxido de carbono?

El monóxido de carbono es un gas venenoso, sin color ni olor, por lo que se lo conoce como «el asesino invisible».

Este gas se produce por la combustión incompleta del carbono presente en materiales tales como leña, carbón de leña, gas, kerosene, alcohol, gas oil, nafta.

Cada año mueren unas 200 personas por intoxicación por monóxido de carbono

Todas las intoxicaciones por monóxido de carbono son evitables.

 

¿Cómo se produce la intoxicación por monóxido de carbono?

La inhalación e Intoxicación por monóxido de carbono produce que se emplace al oxígeno en el torrente sanguíneo por este gas. En consecuencia, la falta de oxígeno daña el corazón, el cerebro y otras partes del cuerpo.

 

¿Cuáles son sus síntomas?

Los síntomas pueden variar de una persona a otra. Quienes tienen mayor riesgo de intoxicación son los niños pequeños, los adultos mayores, las personas con enfermedades cardíacas y/o pulmonares, los fumadores y las personas que habitan en zonas de gran altitud.

El principal riesgo de este tipo de intoxicación es que en muchos casos la persona no es consciente de los síntomas. Éstos pueden ser:

  • Dolor de cabeza.
  • Náuseas o vómitos.
  • Mareos, acompañados de cansancio.
  • Letargo o confusión.
  • Desmayo o pérdida de conocimiento.
  • Alteraciones visuales.
  • Convulsiones.
  • Estado de coma.

 

Pueden producirse otros síntomas parecidos a una intoxicación alimentaria, un cuadro gripal, un problema neurológico o cardíaco. Es decir, ante la inhalación de este gas venenoso, puede parecer que la persona tiene otra patología.

Ante la sospecha de estar sufriendo intoxicación por monóxido de carbono:

  • Abrir ventanas y puertas.
  • Salir a tomar aire fresco inmediatamente.
  • Apagar los artefactos de gas.
  • Concurrir con urgencia a un centro de salud u hospital y/o comunicarse inmediatamente con un servicio de emergencias médicas.

 

¿Cómo se puede prevenir?

Para prevenir la intoxicación por monóxido de carbono es elemental el control de las instalaciones y el buen funcionamiento de artefactos así como es importante mantener los ambientes bien ventilados:

 

Control de instalaciones:

Controlar la correcta instalación y el buen funcionamiento de los artefactos: calefones, termotanques, estufas a gas, salamandras, hogares a leña, calderas, cocinas, calentadores, faroles, motores de combustión interna en automóviles y motos, braseros.

Examinar especialmente las salidas al exterior de hornos, calefones, estufas y calderas para asegurarse que están permeables y en buen estado.

 

Ambientes bien ventilados:

Comprobar que los ambientes tengan ventilación hacia el exterior.

Ventilar toda la casa una vez al día, aunque haga frío.

Dejar siempre una puerta o ventana entreabierta, tanto de día como de noche, y aún cuando haga frío.

No arrojar al fuego plásticos, goma o metales porque desprenden gases y vapor que contaminan el aire.

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