Five men were hospitalized due to the Polk County, FL carbon monoxide poisoning in a restaurant, according to news site The Ledger. One of the men in the Polk County, FL carbon monoxide poisoning was unresponsive.

The carbon monoxide levels were well above what is considered dangerous, according to the news article. The levels were 500 parts per million, and anything more than 50 parts per million is hazardous.

One of the men was going to be airlifted to a hospital for hyperbaric oxygen treatment, but he refused and went to a different hospital instead, according to the article.

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment has shown in a research study to decrease the frequency of cognitive conditions that occur as a result of the carbon monoxide poisoning, according to a New England Journal of Medicine study.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can cause sudden illness or death. The most common symptoms of poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and altered mental state, according to the CDC.

Severe poisoning symptoms include loss of consciousness, coma, and death. Prompt and appropriate diagnostic testing and treatment are very important, according to the CDC.

The CDC recommends that the patient receive 100 percent oxygen and treaters consider using hyperbaric oxygen treatment, which we believe to be the best treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning.

People with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory illness are at the most risk as well as babies and elderly, according to the CDC.

Confirming a diagnosis of CO poisoning involves measuring the patient’s carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) levels. The longer it takes to do such testing while the patient is exposed to normal air, the less accurate it will be.

Discharged patients should be warned of the delayed neurological sequelae that can occur and given directions on what to do should they occur, according to the CDC. Follow-up is extremely important. A repeat medical and neurological exam should be done in the two weeks following the incident.

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