Carboxyhemoglobin is a carbon compound that consists of a single monoxide instead of normal oxygen bound to it. In 1980, a fire at the MGM Grand Hotel killed 85 people in Las Vegas. Most of the people who died were as a result of inhaling smoke fumes and carbon monoxide poisoning. Interestingly, the majority of the people who did were not located in the MGM Grand Hotel (DeCato, & Hegewald, 2017). There were located in the adjacent hotel. The eventual formation of carboxyhemoglobin in their bloodstream from inhaling carbon monoxide was the cause of their deaths. When humans are exposed to excessive levels of carbon dioxide, the excess carbon forms carboxyhemoglobin, which is a poisonous substance that chokes the victims to fatalities. Consequently, majority of the people who died sustained no burns because they were exposed to excessive amounts of carbon from the burning fumes and led to the inhalation of carbon monoxide (Havens et al., 2018). The people who were in the adjacent hotel just opened their windows to let fresh air in, only for them to unknowingly let in more carbon monoxide into their rooms.
Carbon monoxide is a transparent, odorless colorless and non-irritating gas. Carbon dioxide is present in outdoor and indoor air and is produced by burning fuels such as kerosene, wood, gasoline, and oil (Yesudasan, Wang, & Averett, 2018). The MGM Grand Hotel incident killed many people because they were not aware of the effects of carbon monoxide. Therefore, it can be transferred from location to location by ventilation, wind, elevator shafts and stairwells. Consequently, accidental exposure can result in death and may occur when people open windows of a hotel or house room when they are within proximity of the fire.
DeCato, T. W., & Hegewald, M. J. (2017). reply: Insights from Recognition of a Contradiction in the Equations that Define the Diffusing Capacity of the Lung for Carbon Monoxide. Annals of the American Thoracic Society, 14(3), 474-474.
Havens, D., Wang, D., Grigg, J., Gordon, S., Balmes, J., & Mortimer, K. (2018). The Cooking and Pneumonia Study (CAPS) in Malawi: A Cross-Sectional Assessment of Carbon Monoxide Exposure and Carboxyhemoglobin Levels in Children under 5 Years Old. International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(9), 1936.
Yesudasan, S., Wang, X., & Averett, R. D. (2018). Molecular dynamics simulations indicate that deoxyhemoglobin, oxyhemoglobin, carboxyhemoglobin, and glycated hemoglobin under compression and shear exhibit an anisotropic mechanical behavior. Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics, 36(6), 1417-1429.