100% oxygen therapy. 100% oxygen therapy is the most common treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning. For 100% oxygen therapy, you breathe pure oxygen through a tight-fitting mask or, in some cases, with the assistance of mechanical ventilation (a tube down your windpipe). Oxygen therapy reduces the amount of carbon monoxide in the blood. Usually there are no risks with the short-term use of 100% oxygen therapy. However, people who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may have trouble with decreased breathing if they are given too much oxygen.
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves being enclosed in a full-body chamber while pure oxygen is pumped in under high pressure. This helps reduce carbon monoxide levels in the blood quickly and restores the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood to normal.
- Hyperbaric chambers deliver oxygen at higher pressures than is otherwise possible. This treatment is used in moderate to severe cases of poisoning because it usually works faster than 100% oxygen therapy.
- A recent study has concluded that three hyperbaric oxygen treatments within a 24-hour period may reduce the risk of cognitive problems, such as lasting damage to memory, attention, and concentration.