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The research carried out by Surrey University and Frimley Park Hospital seeks to understand the number of patients presenting to emergency departments (EDs) with raised carboxyhaemoglobin (COHb) levels that could be caused by carbon monoxide (CO) exposure in the home or at work.

Over a 15-month period, the research conducted by Dr. Simon Clarke, Consultant Emergency Physician at Frimley Park Hospital, aims to reduce misdiagnosis so that patients can be treated appropriately and not sent back to the site of exposure before it is safe to do so.

As part of the research, all patients presenting at the hospital ED with specific symptoms such as chest pain, headache or seizures, will complete a health questionnaire. For those patients with raised COHb levels whose answers suggest possible CO poisoning, a registered gas engineer will be sent to investigate the scene of the suspected exposure.

This research follows on from a 2011 study by Dr Clarke, measuring raised COHb levels in certain patients that presented to four EDs in England.

It is hoped the research and its findings will go some way to establishing a more accurate estimate of the prevalence of CO poisoning in the UK, resulting in correct diagnosis and treatment for sufferers.

Project in progress