3 doctors weighed in:

What is carbon dioxide narcosis in relation to copd?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. William Walsh
Addiction Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Cause of death

Carbon dioxide buildup happens as COPD worsens.
In an acut exacerbation (sudden worsening), co2 will rapidly accumulate. This can lead to confusion, sedation, and decreased respiratory drive. If not promptly treated it will lead to death.

In brief: Cause of death

Carbon dioxide buildup happens as COPD worsens.
In an acut exacerbation (sudden worsening), co2 will rapidly accumulate. This can lead to confusion, sedation, and decreased respiratory drive. If not promptly treated it will lead to death.
Dr. William Walsh
Dr. William Walsh
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Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Carbon dioxide...

Normally, the lungs allow you to inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
With copd, the lungs are diseased and, as the disease progresses, the patient cannot do this as efficiently, resulting in an increased carbon dioxide level ( when it can't be exhaled!). This increased carbon dioxide level has a similar effect on the brain as narcotics do so it is dubbed "carbon dioxide narcosis".

In brief: Carbon dioxide...

Normally, the lungs allow you to inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
With copd, the lungs are diseased and, as the disease progresses, the patient cannot do this as efficiently, resulting in an increased carbon dioxide level ( when it can't be exhaled!). This increased carbon dioxide level has a similar effect on the brain as narcotics do so it is dubbed "carbon dioxide narcosis".
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Dr. Sue Ferranti
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