Carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin

Illustration of how carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin

Illustration copyright 2000 by Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

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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