Between 1 January 1965 and 31 December 1967, 206 episodes of carbon monoxide poisoning were known to the coroner or the city hospitals in Newcastle upon Tyne.
The mortality rates were: suicidal exposure 38·2%; accidental exposure 39·7%.
In 21·3% of suicidal and 18·9% of accidental exposures recovery was complicated by prolonged delirium suggesting that all degrees of functional or structural neurological damage may have occurred, yet oxygen therapy was given in only 43·8% of suicidal and 34·5% of accidental exposures.
In view of the risk of persistent neuropsychiatric sequelae it is suggested that current patterns of management should be revised.
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