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HOME > Korean J Prev Med > Volume 17(1); 1984 > Article
Original Article An Epidemiological Study on the Neurological Sequelae of Acute Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.
Byung Joo Park, Soo Hun Cho, Yoon Ok Ahn, Young Soo Shin, Dork Ro Yun
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 1984;17(1):5-24
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Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Korea.

There has been an immense need for elaborate studies on the complications and the neuological sequelae generated by acute carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning which is highly prevalent in Korea due to widespread adoption of the anthracite coal briquette as domestic fuel for heating and for cooking. For this epidemiological study, a total of 444 subjects who received hospital emergency care for acute CO poisoning during the period of March 1982 February 1983 were randomly selected from the emergency patients's lists of 13 general hospitals in Seoul area. Informations on the neurological sequelae were elucidated by means of home visiting with prearranged questionnaire consisting questions and concise neurological examination. The findings obtained were summarized as follows; 1. The complications were found in 18% of the surveyed and acute decubitus was comprised 67.5% of the complications. 2. The total cumulative incidence of the neurological sequelae was 41.2 per 100 patients and the absolute incidence rate regardless of the duration after poisoning was 40.8%. 3. The incidence of the neurological sequelae was higher in the older age than in the younger and also higher in female than in male. Twice higher incidence was observed in the admitted patients than in the non-admitted patients and the incidence became higher in proportion to the duration of CO exposure, coma and admission. The poorer the consciousness level of patients found, at emergency room and at discharge, the higher the incidence. The incidence of the neurological sequelae by emergency care was higher in hyperbaric oxygen therapy group(51.9%) than in 100% O2 group(38.0%). 4. A total of five variables significantly associated with the occurrence of the neurological sequelae were selected by the stepwise discriminant analysis. The variables were following course of emergency care, age, consciousness level at discharge, admission duration, and consciousness level at emergency room in their sequence of discriminant power. Eight variables were selected as those associated with the degree of the neurological sequelae through the stepwise multiple regression analysis. Of these variables, the acute decubitus alone explained 21.1% of the total variation and all the eight variables could explain 36.5% of the same. The remaining seven variables listed in the order of their relative importance were: age, consciousness level at discharge, admission duration, coma duration and consciousness level at emergency room. 5. It was postulated that unexpectedly high incidence of the neurological sequelae of the CO poisoning in this epidemiological study was mainly due to the inadequate emergency care and the lack of efficient and sophisticated treatment measure. In the effort to minimize the incidence of grave neurological sequelae of acute CO poisoning, new guidelines for the emergency care and treatment should be pursued with efficient ways.

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