Does carbon monoxide poisoning make you tired and sleepy before it knocks you out and kills you, or does it immediately kill you? Can you notice its effects and be aware of them?


1 Answer 1


Does carbon monoxide poisoning make you tired before it kills you?

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can vary per person it affects, and it can also depend on the the levels of exposure to each person. The short answer would be yes, general fatigue and tiredness can be a symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning.

I believe this is accurate for one being based on a symptom being weakness(2) which weakness can correlate to fatigue or tiredness.

Furthermore, based on the bio-molecular\bio-mechanical explanation of

Once inhaled, carbon monoxide passes from your lungs into your bloodstream, where it attaches to the hemoglobin molecules that normally carry oxygen. Oxygen can't travel on a hemoglobin molecule that already has carbon monoxide attached to it. As exposure continues, the gas hijacks more and more hemoglobin molecules, and the blood gradually loses its ability to carry enough oxygen to meet your body's needs. Without enough oxygen, individual cells suffocate and die, especially in vital organs such as the brain and heart.(1).

This correlates to oxygen being depleted and cellular respiration not taking place to produce energy for the human body to optimally function; thus, another reason general fatigue and tiredness would occur.

Carbon monoxide poisoning(2)

Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include:

  • Dull headache
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be especially dangerous for people who are sleeping or intoxicated. People may have irreversible brain damage or even be killed before anyone realizes there's a problem.

When to see a doctor

The warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning can be subtle. But the condition is a life-threatening medical emergency. If you think you or someone you're with may have carbon monoxide poisoning, get into fresh air and seek emergency medical care.

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