One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A compound formed in the blood by the binding of carbon monoxide to hemoglobin. It is stable and therefore cannot absorb or transport oxygen.
- ‘When haemoglobin mixes with carbon monoxide it produces a compound called carboxyhaemoglobin.’
- ‘Pulse oximetry cannot differentiate between oxyhaemoglobin and carboxyhaemoglobin, and may therefore give normal results.’
- ‘What happens is the CO combines with the haemoglobin in the blood to form the relatively stable carboxyhaemoglobin and renders the blood ineffectual as an oxygen carrier.’
- ‘The presence of carboxyhaemoglobin also diminishes the oxygen held by the normal haemoglobin, which further compounds the hypoxic effect.’
- ‘If someone has the symptoms of CO poisoning, a blood sample will be taken to check the amount of carboxyhaemoglobin in the blood.’
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