The main populating and depopulating mechanisms of the excited energy levels of ions in plasmas with densities <10 23 - 10 24 m-3 are electron collisional excitation from the ion's ground state and radiative decay, respectively, with the majority of the electron population being in the ground state of the ionization stage. Electron collisional ionization is predominately expected to take place from one ground state to that of the next higher ionization stage. However, the question arises as to whether, in some cases, ionization can also affect the excited level populations. This would apply particularly to those cases involving transient events such as impurity influxes in a laboratory plasma. An analysis of the importance of ionization in populating the excited levels of ions in plasmas typical of those found in the edge of tokamaks is undertaken for the C IV and C V ionization stages. The emphasis is on those energy levels giving rise to transitions of most use for diagnostic. Carbon is chosen since it is an important contaminant of JET plasmas; it was the dominant low Z impurity before the installation of the ITER-like wall and is still present in the plasma after its installation. Direct electron collisional ionization both from and to excited levels is considered. Distorted-wave Flexible Atomic Code calculations are performed to generate the required ionization cross sections, due to a lack of atomic data in the literature. Employing these data, ionization from excited level populations is not found to be significant in comparison with radiative decay. However, for some energy levels, ionization terminating in the excited level has an effect in the steady-state of the order of the measurement errors (±10%). During transient events, ionization to excited levels will be of more importance and must be taken into account in the calculation of excited level populations. More accurate atomic data, including possible resonance contributions to the cross sections, would tend to increase further the importance of these effects.