Carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin

Illustration of how carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin

Illustration copyright 2000 by Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. http://www.nucleusinc.com

When you breathe, oxygen moves from the lungs to the blood. Hemoglobin in the red blood cells carries the oxygen throughout the body.

When a person inhales carbon monoxide, it begins to replace the oxygen in the blood. Without oxygen, cells throughout the body die and the organs stop working.

Last Updated: March 18, 2008

Medical Review: Caroline S. Rhoads, MD - Internal Medicine & R. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care, Medical Toxicology

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