A study designed to help doctors better identify people with carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning will continue to be funded by the Gas Safety Trust (GST), it has been announced.
Conducted by the National Poisons Information Service (NPIS), the study is aiming to determine how well doctors and other healthcare professionals are identifying and treating people with CO poisoning.
‘Symptoms mimic other illnesses’
Chris Bielby, who chairs the GST, says because the symptoms of CO poisoning mimic those of various common illnesses, correctly diagnosing it can prove to be a challenge.
But he says it is hoped the survey will help improve health workers’ understanding of the problem and identify better ways for doctors to recognise it when they encounter a patient with suspected CO poisoning.
The survey will see users of the NPIS’s online and 24-hour telephone advice services being questioned to gauge how a diagnoses was reached, if the cases then went on to be confirmed and what the outcome of any treatment was. It is hoped that analysing that data will improve the way CO poisoning is diagnosed.
NPIS consultant clinical toxicologist, Aravindan Veiraiah, says a pilot project has already enabled the service to follow up on more suspected cases of carbon monoxide poisoning.
‘CO poisoning claims 40 lives a year’
It is hoped the continuing survey will help reduce the harm that CO poisoning does in the UK, he adds.
More than 200 people a year attend hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning with around 40 of the cases resulting in a fatality, according to Department of Health figures.
Source: Gas Safety Trust
Date Published: April 18, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown