Carbon monoxide intoxications in Portugal.

Márcia Christel Sá, Rui Paulo Rodrigues, Daniel Moura

Abstract


The prevalence of carbon monoxide intoxication in the World shows that this is a common situation. In Portugal, there are no concrete data available in literature and its incidence remains unknown. Currently, the use of hyperbaric oxygen is a valid therapeutic for carbon monoxide poisoning management. However, its effectiveness and its proper handling are still controversial. The first aim of this study was to estimate the incidence of carbon monoxide intoxication in Portugal and to analyze its demographic characteristics. The second objective of this work was to evaluate the possible change in the type of treatment applied in areas near de hyperbaric chamber of Unidade Local de Saúde de Matosinhos, since its opening in June 2006. To achieve these objectives, we conducted a survey on admissions data for carbon monoxide intoxication occured between January first, 2000 and December 31, 2007. These data was collected in seven hospitals and in the Administração Central do Sistema de Saúde, I.P. Nationally, 621 hospitalizations were recorded, which represents an incidence of 5,86/100000 in 8 years. In the seven hospitals, there were 93 hospitalizations due to carbon monoxide intoxication during the same period of time. There was a peak of incidence during winter, between November and March and there was a similar distribution in men (47,3%) and women (52,7%). Since June 2006, date of opening of the hyperbaric chamber, the Unidade Local de Saúde de Matosinhos, E.P.E. recorded a sharp increase in the number of hospitalization for carbon monoxide intoxication. The number of admissions in the 19 months after the chamber opening was double the number of all cases occurred in that institution in the 65 months prior. We concluded that, in Portugal, carbon monoxide intoxication is an uncommon situation but it´s still an important cause of hospitalization. The referral of cases to the Unidade Local de Saúde de Matosinhos, E.P.E. since the opening of hyperbaric chamber objectively increased. Thus, we can assume that peripheral hospitals are aware of the existence of hyperbaric chamber and its potential in treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning.

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