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Early carbon monoxide intoxication: happy to be poisoned?
  1. S F J Clarke1,
  2. A Crosby2,
  3. D Kumar3
  1. 1Health Protection Agency, Division of Chemical Hazards and Poisons (London), London, UK
  2. 2London Ambulance Service NHS Trust, London, UK
  3. 3North West London Health Protection Unit, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr S J Clarke
 Consultant in Emergency Response, Health Protection Agency, Division of Chemical Hazards and Poisons (London), Avonley Road, London, SE14 5ER; sfjclarke{at}


Carbon monoxide poisoning is the commonest cause of death by poisoning in the UK and chronic exposure is thought to be a frequently missed diagnosis. Early recognition of carbon monoxide poisoning is vital to institute prompt treatment and to prevent exposure to others. An incident of mass exposure to carbon monoxide is presented where euphoria, lasting several hours, was the only symptom reported in approximately one quarter of the casualties. This has not been reported previously and we believe that mild carbon monoxide intoxication should be included in the list of differential diagnoses of inappropriate euphoria.

  • Acute poisoning
  • carbon monoxide
  • euphoria

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  • Competing interests: none declared