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Neuropsychologic and functional recovery from severe carbon monoxide poisoning without hyperbaric oxygen therapy

L K Weaver, R O Hopkins, V Larson-Lohr
Annals of Emergency Medicine 1996, 27 (6): 736-40

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that neuropsychologic test results and functional outcome will be abnormal if hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) is not used in patients with severe carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

METHODS: For a 1-year interval, we retrospectively identified all CO-poisoned patients who were comatose on presentation at a large, urban tertiary hospital and did not receive HBO therapy. Prospectively, 6 and 12 months after CO poisoning, we administered standardized questionnaires to assess functional outcome. At 6 months, we performed extensive neuropsychologic testing.

RESULTS: All four patients exhibited normal performance on a neuropsychologic test battery at 6 months. The Folstein Mini-Mental Status Examination was normal in all patients. All patients had normal functional outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Normal neuropsychologic and functional outcomes are possible after severe CO poisoning without the use of HBO therapy.

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