In previous articles, we looked at the causes of carbon monoxide poisoning and the importance of getting tested for carbon monoxide exposure. Now, we turn our attention to the long-term effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Even though many people recover from their exposure with no ill effects, the possibility of suffering lifelong repercussions exists. You may be one of those people who survived the ordeal only to end up with daily reminders of the experience.
What permanent damage can occur?
Whether you suffer permanent damage depends on the amount of your exposure. As you breathe in carbon monoxide, it replaces the oxygen in your system. Your organs and cells suffocate and die as the toxic gas moves through your body. Anoxia, which is the lack of oxygen in your blood, often leads to a variety of effects and symptoms. Some of them may be short-lived, but others could stay with you for the rest of your life.
Exposure to excessive amounts of carbon monoxide can affect:
- Brain function
Researchers believe that one part of your brain, the hippocampus, may be the most vulnerable to long-term damage from carbon monoxide. The damage can also spread to your major organs such as your heart. Again, the level of exposure dictates how mild or severe these effects are for you. Up to 40 percent of those poisoned suffer from the following permanent damage:
- Loss of muscle control
- Loss of bladder control
- Impaired coordination
- Impaired vision
- Memory problems
- Behavioral changes
- Personality changes
Unfortunately, many of these symptoms do not appear for some time after the initial exposure. Some may dissipate as time goes on, but others may linger.
Was your exposure due to another person's negligence?
If another party bears responsibility for your exposure and subsequent health consequences, you may be able to pursue compensation in a Texas civil court. Perhaps the property owner failed to install the appropriate carbon monoxide detectors; or maybe the ones installed were malfunctioning due to a manufacturing defect or poor maintenance. Since these claims can quickly become complex, it may be a good idea to seek the appropriate help from an attorney experienced in carbon monoxide poisoning cases.