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Laboratory Medicine

Test Directory / Carbon Monoxyhaemoglobin

Carbon Monoxyhaemoglobin

EDTA

TestCarbon Monoxyhaemoglobin
Common AbbreviationsCO, COHb, Carbon Monoxide
Profile
Tube typeEDTA
Clinical IndicationInvestigation of suspected carbon monxide poisioning
Specimen TypeBlood
Sample typeEDTA plasma
Minimum Volume0.5 mL
Special PrecautionsSample analysis at the laboratory is only available during nomal working hours (9am-5pm Monday-Friday).
Stability4 weeks at 2-8°C and 20-25oC (full, sealed tube)
Turnaround Time24 hours
LaboratoryYork and Scarborough
Reference IntervalNon-smokers: 0.0-1.5%, Smokers: 1.5-5.0%
LimitationsBlood Carbon Monoxyhaemoglobin levels are NOT a sensitive indicator of carbon monoxide exposure, as the high concentrations of oxygen in the atmosphere can cause blood levels to decrease once a patient is removed from the immediate source of cabon monoxide. The use of a home-carbon monoxide meter is recommended as an alternative means of assessing carbon monoxide exposure. Patients with suspected severe toxicity or a clear history of exposure should be referred to the Emergency Department for assessment, as point of care analysis is available to inpatients 24h a day.
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