What are the effects of carbon monoxide? When entering the body, carbon monoxide mixes with with the red blood cells in the blood and displaces the oxygen our bodies need to survive. Carbon monoxide combines with the red blood cells over 200 times more easily than oxygen and creates a condition known as carboxyhemoglobin saturation. Carbon monoxide, instead of oxygen, then moves into the vital organs through the bloodstream. Our organ tissues require oxygen; without it, our bodies start to asphyxiate or suffocate. It takes the body much longer to eliminate carbon monoxide, however it can be absorbed much faster.