Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Availability of Bedside and Laboratory Testing for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in the Upper Midwestern United States


Introduction: The objective of this study was to assess the ability to test patients for carbon monoxide (CO) exposure in all hospitals in three United States (U.S.) Midwestern states.

Methods: We surveyed hospitals in three states. Telephone queries assessed processes for measuring carboxyhemoglobin, including capacity for real-time vs send-out testing. Facilities wereseparated based on their location’s population size for further analysis. Descriptive statistics are reported.

Results: Of the 250 hospitals queried, we ultimately excluded 25. Nearly all (220, 97.8%) reported a process in place to test for CO exposure. Over 40% (n=92) lacked real-time testing. Testing ability was positively associated with increasing population size quartile (range 32.6% - 100%). Hospitals in the lowest-quartile population centers were more likely to report that they were unable to test in realtime than those in the largest-quartile population centers (67.4% vs 0%).

Conclusion: In a large geographic region encompassing three states, hospital-based and real-time capacity to test for CO exposure is not universal. Hospitals in smaller population areas are morelikely to lack real-time testing or any testing at all. This may have significant public health, triage, andreferral implications for patients.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View