inhaling smoke and fumes before a climb

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deungsan

 
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inhaling smoke and fumes before a climb

by deungsan » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:34 pm

Been meaning to post this for some time but keep forgetting...

On a trip to Orizaba, I was talking with an EMT in the hut. He said people need to be careful around stoves in enclosed places the night before a climb because the carbon monoxide that’s produced attaches to red blood cells, interfering with oxygen transport for 24 hours or longer.

Question 1—anyone else heard this from a reputable source?
Question 2—would this warning also apply to campfires?
(If you’re like me, you probably are near one or the other before most mountain trips.)

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Scott
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Re: inhaling smoke and fumes before a climb

by Scott » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:02 pm

He said people need to be careful around stoves in enclosed places the night before a climb because the carbon monoxide that’s produced attaches to red blood cells, interfering with oxygen transport for 24 hours or longer.


Question 1—anyone else heard this from a reputable source?


The above is accepted universally among all sources.

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nartreb

 
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Re: inhaling smoke and fumes before a climb

by nartreb » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:07 am

Question 2—would this warning also apply to campfires?


Yes. Do not make a campfire in an enclosed space.


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Hemoglobin is a cool molecule - it binds oxygen, and releases it in the presence of carbon dioxide. Plus it can transport (some) carbon dioxide, and nitric oxide too (which is handy because NO is a vasodilator, and gets released where it's needed). But hemoglobin also binds carbon monoxide, and in fact carbon monoxide is something like 250 times "stickier" on hemoglobin than oxygen is. So it doesn't take a big dose of CO to have a major effect. Aside from depriving cells of oxygen, it's thought that messing up nitric oxide transport is toxic too.
(Plus, carbon monoxide can bind to other important molecules in the body, like myoglobin.)

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Also, from experience, don't inhale a lot of campfire smoke the night before a climb. Coughing and climbing don't mix.

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Re: inhaling smoke and fumes before a climb

by campranger » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:35 pm

Carbon monoxide can be quite devastating because of the strong hemoglobin binding effects mentioned. Stay clear whenever possible!


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