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Carbon monoxide is a colourless, tasteless, odourless gas produced by incomplete fuel combustion. The signs and symptoms of exposure are non-specific and therefore it is difficult to diagnose; if the diagnosis is missed it may lead to long-term health problems. Unfortunately, no-one knows exactly how big a problem this may be. At the moment we can do a test in the Emergency Department for carbon dioxide in the blood but it may not be very accurate and it is possible that we do not detect carbon monoxide in some patients.

EDCO (screening for carbon monoxide in the Emergency Department) is a enhanced surveillance study, funded by the Gas Safety Trust. Patients will be enrolled from three hospitals (St Georges Hospital, Frimley Park Hospital and Wexham Park Hospital) over a year.

EDCO aims to:

  • Find out how commonly are people presenting to emergency departments are actually exposed to carbon monoxide
  • Evaluate a screening tool for identification of patients with symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure
  • See if there is a seasonal variation in the levels of carbon monoxide exposure
  • Try and identify new blood markers of carbon monoxide exposure that are more reliable than the current

Study team

Chief Investigator: Professor Heather Jarman

Principal Investigator (St George’s site): Dr Paul Holmes

Study coordinator: Desi Baramova

Follow us on Twitter: @TheEDCOstudy1

Key documents