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ISRCTN registration: 16329899

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  CO Research Trust (previously the Gas Safety Trust), working in collaboration with the University of Surrey and Public Health England.

Phase 1 of this study (The EDCO study) is now closed to recruitment. A summary of results will be available on this page when available. Full dissemination will be through journals.

Phase 2 (The EDCO-M study) will complete data collection in early 2022. 

The EDCO study 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

Associated publications

Cappelletto M, Jarman H (2021) Screening and management of unintentional low-level carbon monoxide exposure in the emergency department. Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2021.e2077

Core study team

Professor Heather Jarman (Chief Investigator)

Professor Richard Atkinson

Professor Tim Quinn

Desi Baramova (study coordinator)