Medical Surgical Carbon monoxide poisoning #3


The nurse is providing teaching to a client diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning. Which assists in prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning? Select all that apply.


  1. Install a carbon dioxide detector in the home.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because a carbon dioxide detector will alert people inside the home of the presence of carbon monoxide. Place it near the sleeping areas and on every level of the home. If the detector sounds, leave the home immediately and dial 9-1-1. Check and replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. Always keep fresh batteries on hand.

  2. Open the flue of the fireplace for ventilation.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because reverse air flow can cause carbon monoxide to enter the home. Have the chimney and flue checked for blockages, corrosion and partial and complete disconnections. Hiring a professional chimney sweep once a year will help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

  3. Keep a window slightly opened when using gas heating.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because by keeping a window open, fresh air with oxygen can enter inside. Be careful of kerosene lamps as well. Kerosene heaters are illegal in some states.

  4. Never use a gas oven to heat the home.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because a gas oven may go out or burn inefficiently, resulting in carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is invisible and odorless, so you will not be able to tell if it is leaking into your home. Moderate levels of the gas can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and fainting.

  5. Never smoke cigarettes in the house.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is incorrect because even though smoking cigarettes in the home exposes household members to other toxins, it does not cause carbon monoxide poisoning. It is best to smoke outdoors to reduce health problems that can occur to household members’ exposure to cigarette smoke.


Carbon monoxide poisoning is a medical emergency. It is invisible and odorless and unable to be detected by senses; however, exposure to carbon monoxide is easily preventable.


Learning Outcomes

Carbon monoxide can turn deadly within minutes. It is an invisible and odorless gas that can only be detected by carbon monoxide detectors. All homes should be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors. Having the chimney and flue checked for blockages by a professional chimney sweep is a great preventative measure. While using gas heating, keep a window slightly open so fresh air can enter inside. Using a gas oven to heat the home is a dangerous practice since the fumes from the oven stay inside the house due to the oven not having appropriate ventilation. Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, dizziness, nausea and fainting.

Test Taking Tip

Understand ways to reduce exposure to carbon monoxide.

Video Rationale