Carbon Monoxide Suicide Is Not Like What You Think of It

Often used as a method of attempted suicide, carbon monoxide is an extremely toxic gas produced by combustion in low oxygen levels. It is a deadly poison that has caused the most accidental deaths in history than any other toxin, simply because it goes undetected. It is colorless, odorless and being a gas, one can’t feel it either. If it is present in large amounts, it kills quickly, before a person has a chance of reacting properly.

The Mechanism Behind Carbon Monoxide Suicide

Life pushes everyone down, but suicide is never a good option. There are numerous helplines available in case you might be considering suicide in the US, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-274-TALK (8255). You might think that no one cares, but life always provides second chances. There are always better ways to solving problems. If you live outside the USA, there will be a life-saving hotline that you should contact before doing anything harmful. Besides, death from carbon monoxide is painful and might not be as easy as it seems.

Carbon monoxide works by tricking the blood’s hemoglobin to believe it is oxygen and bond with it. While oxygen and red blood cells form a weak bond that breaks down after a while, carbon monoxide and red blood cells form a permanent bond and cuts off the oxygen supply for the body, slowly crippling and killing the person.

You're Very Likely to Fail 

Using car exhaust fumes to commit suicide is a well-known method until recently. But this method is very likely to fail, only leading to unnecessary suffering. So, if you are looking at this article and are thinking about commit suicide with carbon monoxide, please rethink it and give this harmful thought away.

Not Enough Emission

Carbon monoxide suicide could be either by running a car engine continuously in an enclosed space like a garage or by running a pipe from the exhaust directly into the car, ideally in an enclosed area. But that was when car emissions were not monitored. Cars nowadays emit much lower levels of carbon monoxide than before. Only really older cars might do this. Besides, in places like the US, UK and Australia, car emissions are more tightly controlled to avoid this kind of tragedy.

People might also try carbon monoxide suicide by burning charcoal and inhaling the gas. A house is too big and leaks in windows and doors will let the smoke out. Consequently, there won't be enough carbon monoxide or you will be saved by others who saw the smoke.

Other Adverse Factor

Apart from these factors, there are a number of ways in which the use of car exhaust can fail to work as a suicide method.

  • Metal connections and clamps and heat resistant tubing need to be used, since plastic tape and regular tubing can melt due to the hot exhaust gas.
  • The gas has to quickly exceed 500 ppm, which should be tested using a CO meter beforehand.
  • Cars with catalytic converters should be started cold and allowed to idle, since catalytic converters don’t function when cold and allow carbon monoxide to build up in the exhaust gas.
  • A car with an exhaust hose through the window will tend to attract attention, so you are very likely to be found and saved during the process. The only result is to add another suffering in your life.

Life is never easy and we all have to go through our own trials and hardship, but hope and support are always around us. Life is already hard, why attempt suicide to add more misery to it, let along suicide is never the solution to anything.

You Will Suffer a Lot During and After It

Being odorless and tasteless, carbon monoxide suicide is often thought to be reasonably quick, inducing swift unconsciousness and leading to a peaceful and painless death. But that’s not the real story. People trying committing suicide with carbon monoxide suffer a lot during the process. They find it hard to breathe and their head starts getting clouded. Vomiting and fainting are inevitable. Besides, fainting lowers the blood circulation rate which prolongs exposure to the gas and causes, even more damage to the body.

Complications for survivors: It is likely that you will survive the ordeal when committing suicide using carbon monoxide. When you do survive, the pain only intensifies. Depending on the degree and length of exposure, even with proper treatment, survivors may develop long-term brain damage, resulting in complications such as severe memory loss, low brain function, and severe cardiac complications. A person attempting suicide by burning charcoal will mostly survive, usually with tremendous brain damage due to cerebral anoxia.

Know more about what carbon monoxide poisoning feel like and what first aid is need here: 

What Others Say About Carbon Monoxide Suicide

It is commonly believed that carbon monoxide poisoning leads to death that resembles sleep. However, that is not true. Carbon monoxide causes immense pain and discomfort and causes convulsions and muscle spasms as the body’s desperate attempts of seeking oxygen. One acquaintance of mine committed suicide using carbon monoxide and his body was so badly disfigured that his family was denied to see the body. His facial capillaries had burst, his eyeballs had popped and his tongue had swollen to prop the jaw open unnaturally. I think no one can say that is peaceful.

As far as I know, carbon monoxide is produced during incomplete combustion, which can be very difficult to produce. That might explain why it is not a very widespread method of suicide.

Suicide via carbon monoxide poisoning takes a long time and gives one a terrible headache and infinite pain. Things only get worse. If your friends, family or roommates are sleeping in the same room, the smoking of burning charcoal will cause harm to them. That guilt will swallow you! So guys, no matter how bad life appears, it gets better. Suicide should not be a way of dealing with problems, as it only hurts you, your friends and family.

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