Tag: dizzy

Are You CO Aware?

With the onset of colder weather, many households in the UK are turning on their heating for the first time in months. Heating appliances need chimneys and flues to work safely – and these can block up over the summer months. So autumn is traditionally the period when people get poisoned by carbon monoxide (although it can happen any time of the year!)

Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced when anything containing carbon burns or smoulders. For practical purposes, this means the burning of any kind of fuel, commonly:

  • Gas
  • Coal
  • Wood/Paper/Card
  • Oil/Petrol/Diesel – (All UK cars have a ‘catalytic converter’ in the exhaust system, which converts carbon monoxide (CO) to carbon Dioxide (CO2), which is less poisonous. However, these converters need to warmed up – a cold car produces fatal amounts of CO in the exhaust)

CO is very poisonous. Exposure to as little as 300 parts per million (that’s just 0.03%) can prove fatal.

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Vertigo in ED

Vertigo is not always labyrinthitis!! There are some potentially serious conditions to think about. Your main question should be is it peripheral [good] or central [bad]?

IndicatorPeripheral Central
IntensityMaximum initial Mild
Vertical Nystagmus NoYes
Affect of Movement Significant Mild-None
Other NeurologyAbsentPresent
WalkingAbleFalls, V. unstable
HINTS ExamAll PeripheralAny Central

Think about the HINTS exam, its particularly good at identifying posterior strokes (however the patient needs to feel dizzy at reg time of the test)

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