Routine Surveillance

Mortality Hospitalization Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Emergency Department Visits Poison Center National Fire Protection Association Health Behaviors

Pyramid representing CO Framework

In the absence of an active national surveillance system for carbon monoxide poisoning, estimates and surveillance activities rely on data sources that were not primarily designed for carbon monoxide poisoning surveillance. The figure above illustrates the surveillance components of CDC’s carbon monoxide poisoning surveillance framework. Below are the respective data sources identified for each component, the resulting estimates, and the dissemination of the findings. The surveillance framework outlined here focuses only on unintentional, non-fire related carbon monoxide poisoning because approaches to preventing intentional and fire-related carbon monoxide exposures greatly differ from those for prevention of unintentional exposures.


Sircar K, Clower J, Shin Mk, Bailey C, King M, Yip F. “Carbon monoxide poisoning deaths in the United States, 1999 to 2012.” American Journal of Emergency Medicine 2015 33 (9): 1140–1145.

National Vital Statistics System: From 1999 through 2004 there were 439 unintentional, non-fire related carbon monoxide poisoning deaths annually in the U.S.

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Nationwide Inpatient Sample: In 2007, there were 2,302 hospitalizations for confirmed cases of unintentional, non-fire related carbon monoxide poisoning in the U.S.

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Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

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Emergency Department Visits

Nationwide Emergency Department Sample: In 2007 there were 21,304 emergency department visits for confirmed cases of unintentional, non-fire related carbon monoxide poisoning in the U.S.

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Poison Centers

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National Fire Protection Association

National Fire Protection Association: During 2006-2010, municipal fire departments in the U.S. responded to an annual average of 72,000 non-fire related carbon monoxide incidents.  Top of Page

Health Behaviors

Presence of carbon monoxide alarm at home

Attitude regarding furnace maintenance

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To learn more about CDC’s carbon monoxide surveillance framework please see:
Iqbal S, Clower J, Yip FY, Garbe P. “Carbon monoxide poisoning surveillance.” In: Occupational and environmental health. Levy BS, Wegman DH, Baron SL, Sokas RK, eds. 6th Ed. Oxford University Press, USA (ISBN: 0195397886)