12 / 20
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning leads to hypoxia because..
  • A
    CO is far less easily attached (200 times) to haemoglobin than oxygen.
  • B
    accumulation of CO in blood leads to hyperventilation and thus to hypoxia.
  • C
    CO in blood displaces oxygen from the blood corpuscles impairing oxygen transport.
  • D
    the increasing amount of CO in the lung alveoles gradually reverses oxygen diffusion.

CARBON MONOXIDE

Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless gas which is present in the smoke from almost all aircraft fires and in aircraft exhaust gases, particularly from piston engines where concentrations of up to 9% may be encountered. Inhaled carbon monoxide passes easily into the bloodstream where it enters the red blood cells and binds to the haemoglobin, thus preventing the carriage of oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, so that the tissues become hypoxic. Unfortunately, carbon monoxide binds to haemoglobin much more strongly than oxygen and, the resulting compound, carboxyhaemoglobin, is more stable than the equivalent compound with oxygen. In numerical terms, carbon monoxide’s affinity for haemoglobin is over 200 times as great as that of oxygen. This means that even a very low concentration of carbon monoxide in the inspired air will result in a progressive build-up of carboxyhaemoglobin to harmful levels.
  • The first symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning is a headache (or tightness across the forehead) nausea and dizziness. It is an important fact that the effects of carbon monoxide are cumulative and even a very low concentration of carbon monoxide in the inspired air will result in a progressive build-up of carboxyhaemoglobin to harmful levels. A breath of fresh air will not bring early relief and several days may be required to completely rid the body of carbon monoxide.

Your Notes (not visible to others)



This question has appeared on the real examination, you can find the related countries below.

  • United Kingdom