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This survey undertaken by the National Poisons Information Service (NPIS) seeks to help gauge healthcare professionals’ awareness of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, following a pilot project.

The 2011 All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG) report highlighted the challenges faced by healthcare professionals in diagnosis and treatment. According to the Department of Health, every year in the UK, over 200 people go to hospital with suspected CO poisoning, leading to around 40 deaths; however, relatively little is known about its epidemiology.

The NPIS Annual Report 2014/15 included data from 479 telephone enquiries (calls) that related to CO exposures involving a total of 682 patients. This study uses the NPIS’s TOXBASE® online resource and its 24-hour telephone advice service to gather information from users. There is a follow-up questionnaire sent to gain further data, all of which will be used to understand how a diagnosis was made and if cases were confirmed.

At the same time, healthcare professionals accessing the TOXBASE CO entry will be presented with a simple pop-up box asking whether they were seeing a patient with suspected CO poisoning and for a contact address.

A questionnaire is then sent to these healthcare professionals for additional information. The results of this exercise are then analysed with the aim of improving how CO poisoning is diagnosed.


Project in progress