Medical Surgical Carbon monoxide poisoning #1

Question

A client appears at the emergency department with complaints of headache, confusion, dizziness and weakness. Five minutes later the client exhibits confusion, visual changes, and chest pain. Carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected. The nurse immediately performs which action?

Answers

  1. Places 100% oxygen via mask on the client.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because the most important action for carbon monoxide poisoning is to apply 100% oxygen to reduce the half-life of carboxyhemoglobin. Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when carbon monoxide builds up in excess within the bloodstream. When this occurs, oxygen molecules are replaced with carbon monoxide molecules which leads to the development of signs and symptoms of hypoxemia.

  2. Prepares a tracheotomy kit.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because it is not necessary to prepare a tracheotomy kit for the next action. The very first action in this instance would be to immediately apply 100% oxygen to the client.

  3. Prepares for gastric lavage.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because gastric lavage is not part of the treatment plan for carbon monoxide poisoning. Gastric suctioning is used to remove poison/ toxins from the stomach..

  4. Asks the family if a suicide note was found.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because it is inappropriate to ask about suicide notes as carbon monoxide poisoning may occur with fuel-buringing appliances that are not installed properly or used properly, heating systems, and when chimneys become blocked in older buildings causing trapped fumes.

Overview

The focus of this question is determining the most appropriate action for a client with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning is treated by placing the client on 100% FiO2.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when carbon monoxide builds up in excess within the bloodstream. When this occurs, oxygen molecules are replaced with carbon monoxide molecules which leads to the development of signs and symptoms of hypoxemia. When a client is suspected of having carbon monoxide poisoning, the priority treatment is delivery of 100% oxygen to quickly replace oxygen molecules and correct hypoxemia.

Test Taking Tip

A-B-C! Breathing must first be addressed in clients with carbon monoxide poisoning by applying 100% oxygen.

Video Rationale