Western Journal of Emergency Medicine: Integrating Emergency Care with Population Health
Availability of Bedside and Laboratory Testing for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in the Upper Midwestern United States
- Author(s): Masters, Thomas
- Willenbring, Brian
- Westgard, Bjorn
- Cole, Jon
- Hendriksen, Stephen
- Walter, Joseph
- Logue, Christopher
- Olives, Travis
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.5811/westjem.2019.2.41428
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.