Carbon monoxide poisoning: saving lives, advancing treatment

The All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group and Policy Connect report identifies that symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning are not routinely being detected in the healthcare system.

The All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group, co-chaired by cross bench Peer, Professor the Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, and Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman, asked a group of health experts to identify ways of improving the diagnosis of CO poisoning. This is due to health figures showing that every year at least 4,000 people in England and Wales attend emergency departments (EDs) as the result of accidental CO poisoning.

Health experts know that CO exposure leads to more than 30 people a year losing their lives and 200 people being admitted to hospital.  But it is not yet known how many undiagnosed cases return home, become ill again, or die from continued exposure to CO. The experts believe these figures could be a gross underestimation and the actual cost to the NHS is likely to be much more than the current estimate of £178million per annum.