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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 25(6); 2014 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2014;25(6): 784-787.
Compartment Syndrome Induced by Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Jee Yong Jang, Geun Lee, Yong Su Lim, Jae Hyug Woo, Jae Ho Jang
Department of Emergency Medicine, Gachon University Gil Medical Center, Incheon, Korea. leekeun@gilhospital.com
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is the most common cause of fatal poisoning in the United States and may be the most common worldwide cause of fatal poisoning. CO poisoning can affect the entire body and usually causes neurologic or cardiac injury. While not common, rhabdomyolysis, skeletal muscle necrosis, and renal failure can also occur. We report on a suicidal 22-year-old man who inhaled CO gas from a burning briquette. His case was complicated by compartment syndrome (CS). Finally, he had to undergo fasciotomy and removal of necrotic muscle. A CO poisoned patient who is unconscious cannot describe symptoms and moderate swelling or tenderness might be neglected. Though CS rarely appears in CO poisoning, delayed diagnosis may result in fatal consequences. Therefore, in the case of an unconscious patient, the entire body must be examined closely to identify early signs related to CS (tenderness, swelling, redness). If the diagnosis is uncertain after the clinical evaluation, the pressure within the compartment should be measured.
Key words: Carbon monoxide, Poisoning, Rhabdomyolysis, Compartment syndromes
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