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HomeAnswersPulmonology (Asthma Doctors)poisoningI was standing beside a truck when I thought I had carbon monoxide poisoning. Please help.

How to overcome carbon monoxide poisoning?

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The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At December 31, 2023
Reviewed AtFebruary 2, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I was standing beside a truck when I thought I had carbon monoxide poisoning, so I went to the emergency room. There was no doctor there, only a nurse practitioner. She conducted my venous blood work, and my carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) level was normal, but my partial venous oxygen pressure (PvO2) came back as abnormal. I suffer from panic attacks and was having one at the time. While the nurse was drawing my blood, I held my breath the whole time, but before drawing blood, I was hyperventilating. I noticed that the normal PvO2 range is 35 to 45 mmHg, but my units are in mEq/L. The emergency room discharged me without providing much information about PvO2.

My report shows a PvO2 level of 35.5 mEq/L, and I could not find any information on the internet about what the normal PvO2 should be in mEq/L. Can you please help me understand if my PvO2 is in the normal range or not, or if I have any problems? I feel fine; my oxygen saturation (SpO2) is 99%. I can run up five flights of stairs without significant shortness of breath. My echocardiogram was normal and was performed five months ago. I have attached the report for your reference.

Thank you.

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I can understand your concern. Yes, both mEq/L and mmHg are the same. No need to worry about a slightly low value. This happens with oxygen values, especially in venous samples.

We have to correlate the values clinically also. So I do not think you are having any poisoning.

Do you have any smoking habits, allergies, or asthma? Please reply to me with answers so that I can guide you better.

Thank you.

Regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you so much for the reply. No, I do not smoke or use tobacco, nor do I use any drugs or alcohol. I do not suffer from asthma. My resting heart rate is usually in the 60s, and I can climb eight flights of stairs before getting short of breath. I have been diagnosed with panic and anxiety disorder and have been taking Sertraline 50 mg daily for five years. I did not experience any symptoms after being near a truck exhaust for a few minutes. I had a panic attack, thinking that I had inhaled a large amount of carbon monoxide, so I went to the emergency room. If PvO2 in units of mEq is equivalent to mmHg, then does my PvO2 value of 35.5 mEq/L indicate that my PvO2 is within the normal range? Can a panic attack, wearing a mask in the hospital for an hour, and holding my breath before the blood was drawn cause this slightly low PvO2 value? So, am I healthy and normal, and is there no need to worry about this?

Thank you.

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thanks for your follow-up query. I can understand your concern. Yes, this is a normal value only. No need to worry about anything. No need to worry about low oxygen. You do not have any lung disease. Yes, you are healthy and normal. Divert your mind from this. Do not pay much attention to these.

I hope this helps you.

Thank you.

Regards.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar
Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Pulmonology (Asthma Doctors)

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