Example 3: A Case of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning


Mr. JJ in the emergency room with carbon monoxide poisoning

This case is a modified case from an article written by Day, Mulcahy, Leahy-Warren, and Downey in 2015.

Mr. JJ is a 67-year old Asian man who lives alone in a rural community. He lost his wife several years ago. His neighbors contacted the police after not seeing him for a few days. The police found Mr. JJ in his home but confused. An ambulance transferred Mr. JJ to the local hospital. Carbon monoxide exposure was responsible for Mr. JJ’s confusion. Luckily, his exposure to carbon monoxide was only brief. While in the hospital, appropriate repairs were made to the furnace. After recovering, Mr. JJ was discharged home with orders for home health services.

The home health team performed a comprehensive physical, psycho-social and environmental assessment. Although there was no history of mental health problems, Mr. JJ was found to have mild dementia. Mr. JJ does not have any family nearby. He is not close to his family and has only minimal contact with them. The house was filthy and in disrepair.

Initially, Mr. JJ agreed for necessary home repairs. He also agreed that a home care aide could come twice a week. However, he refused to talk to the workmen and home care aide when they arrived. It soon became apparent that Mr. JJ was intermittently confused. His neighbors said that after the death of his sister last year, he likes to keep to himself.

APS and his primary care provider visited Mr. JJ at his house. They persuaded Mr. JJ to allow workers to complete the most necessary repairs so that he could stay in his house safely. Mr. JJ agreed to home services three times a week if it was always the same person. He refused medication for depression. Mr. JJ plans to overcome his depression through spirituality.


Day, M. R., Mulcahy, H., Leahy-Warren, P., & Downey, J. (2015). Self-neglect: a case study and implications for clinical practice. British Journal of Community Nursing, 20(3), 110-115.

Last updated: June 7, 2020 at 16:45 pm by
I. M. Abumaria, Doctor of Nursing Practice
Version 2.00