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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in a Child: A Case Report

MO Asani
R Belonwu
S Rajasekaran
M Ibrahim


The exact incidence of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in Nigeria is unknown. Globally, CO poisoning is frequently unrecognized and under-reported since the clinical presentation is relatively non-specific. The circumstances usually involve an unsuspected increase of CO in an enclosed environment. We present the case of a five-year old girl who was brought to the Emergency Paediatics Unit with altered consciousness and profound muscle weakness following exposure to exhaust fumes from a petrol powered electric generator. The generating set was usually operated within the kitchen during the preceding year, but on that particular day, a large refrigerator was placed beside the kitchen door thereby preventing its complete closure. She made an uneventful recovery following treatment with 100 percent oxygen. The case highlights the susceptibility of children to CO poisoning caused by operating petrol powered electric generators within the house. Health education of the community is necessary to avert such hazards.

Nigerian Journal of Paediatrics Vol.31(2) 2004: 56-58