In Vitro Absorption of Atmospheric Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen Cyanide in Undisturbed Pooled Blood
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION OKLAHOMA CITY OK CIVIL AEROSPACE MEDICAL INST
Pagination or Media Count:
Biological samples from victims of aircraft accidents are analyzed for carboxyhemoglobin COHb and cyanide ion CN- in blood. Such victims quite often suffer large open wounds near the autopsy blood collection sites. Many aircraft crashes result in fires that fill the victims atmosphere with smoke rich in carbon monoxide CO and hydrogen cyanide HCN. It is important to determine whether pooled blood in those open wounds may have absorbed CO and HCN after death, which could lead one to erroneously conclude that the presence of COHb and CN- in blood was the result of breathing in these combustion gases. A chamber was designed from a laboratory desiccator to establish whether CO and HCN may be absorbed in undisturbed, pooled whole human blood. A magnetic stirring bar was placed at the bottom of the chamber to facilitate air movement. A ceramic plate with concentric rows of holes was above the stirring bar to support a shallow open dish containing 4 mL of heparinized blood. Gas syringes 100-cc were used to evacuate air from and add pure CO into the chamber. The chamber volume was 9038 cc. The blood was exposed to three concentrations of CO each for two different periods of time. For HCN exposures, an extra dish containing a 5-mL beaker, which contained sodium cyanide NaCN, was used. Four mL of heparin-treated blood was used in the second dish. One mL of concentrated sulfuric acid was added to the beaker containing NaCN through the lid opening. The volume of the HCN chamber was 8981 cc. Blood COHb and CN- concentrations were determined spectrophotometrically. COHb levels of 4.3-11.0 were detected in blood after its exposure to CO at 5532, 8298, 11064, 22129, and 33193 ppm for 30- and 60-min. CN- concentrations 1.43-5.01 micro gmL in blood increased with exposure to HCN at 100 and 200 ppm each at 15, 30, 45, and 60 min.
- Medicine and Medical Research