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Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (animation)

Carbon monoxide poisoning impairs the body’s ability to get oxygen to the heart, the brain, and other critical tissues because the CO2 molecule has a much stronger attraction to hemoglobin than oxygen does. If we inhale even a very small amount, it will quickly bind to the hemoglobin in the blood, preventing it from carrying oxygen. In addition, carbon monoxide hangs on to the hemoglobin, requiring a hyperbaric chamber with oxygen.

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Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions

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Produced by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. 2014.
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