Carbon Monoxide

Abbrev Code:CO   
Order Code:LAB3398Order Name:Carbon Monoxide
Synonyms:Carboxyhemoglobin; CO Hb
Methodology:Spectrophotometric analysis of hemolysate
CPT Codes: 82375 x1
Turnaround Time:Performed and reported 24 hours/day.
Special Instructions:Green (lithium heparin, no gel) and Green (sodium heparin, no gel) are acceptable tube types for Outreach and non-Co testing Fairview sites. For in-house testing, a dry heparin syringe is the preferred sample type.

Collection Instructions

Specimen:Whole Blood (arterial, venous, capillary)
Optimal Volume:1 mL
Minimum\Peds Volume:0.5 mL (3 mL syringe); 0.2 mL (tuberculin syringe); 0.1 mL (capillary tube)
Container:St Johns/Woodwinds - Dry heparin syringe, Dry heparin syringe
Alternate Containers: Capillary (lithium heparin) gas tube, Green (sodium heparin, no gel)
Collection Instructions:Sample should be free of air bubbles. If collecting in green (heparin, no gel), do not remove stopper. Do not process.
Patient Preparation:If carboxyhemoglobin is to be tested to work up smoking and COPD, collect samples as soon after the patient has smoked as possible. If the patient is a smoker or may have occupational exposure (e.g., mechanics), a sample collected in the late afternoon or evening may be more useful than a sample collected in the morning. Moderate levels of CO can be cleared from the blood in hours.
Causes for Rejection:Gross lipemia or the presence of >1% sulfhemoglobin. Samples collected in a gel tube.

Processing and Shipping

Specimen Processing:Do not process. Store at room temperature.
Shipping Instructions:Ship at room temperature or on ice. Must arrive within 72 hours.
Test Performed at or Referral Lab Chemistry  (CSC Mpls, Grand Itasca, Lakes, Northland, Range, Ridges, Southdale, St. John's, UMMC East Bank, UMMC West NICU, UMMC/UMMCH-West Bank, Woodwinds)


Critical Range:Disturbance of judgment, headache, and dizziness occur at 10-30%; coma at 50-60%; fatality can occur at 60% or more; and rapid death at levels of 80%.
Whole Blood Testing Critical Values and Reference Ranges
Reference Range:
0-1 mo 0-4%
1 mo & older, nonsmokers 0-2%
1 mo & older, smokers 0-10%
Some smokers may have higher levels.
Slight dyspnea may occur with even limited CO2 elevation.
Whole Blood Testing Critical Values and Reference Ranges
Use:Evaluate for suspected toxicity.

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