The difficulty in recognizing various environments (home, work, and recreation) that carry some risk of CO exposure must be reemphasized. Not all CO sources are immediately obvious. A careful, complete history and a heightened index of suspicion remain the keys to early diagnosis of CO poisoning. Quantitative carboxyhemoglobin levels can help confirm the diagnosis if obtained early, before prolonged oxygen therapy. However, the immediate treatment of a patient with possible CO poisoning must be administration of oxygen with as high a forced inspiratory oxygen as can be delivered with an adequate minute ventilation.
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