Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Spikes as a Result of Hurricane Sandy
Tarrytown, NY (PRWEB) December 20, 2012
As a result of Hurricane Sandy, the Life Support Technologies group (LST) has seen a spike in Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning victims at its hyperbaric medicine units at partner hospital facilities. Potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning can be avoided with a little knowledge and some planning: maintain appliances and engines in good working condition, and do not operate charcoal grills, fuel-burning space heaters, portable generators, car or truck engines in confined spaces.
The spike in CO cases is attributed to the increased use of gas-powered emergency electrical generators and the use of fuel-burning space heaters in enclosed spaces. To date, 68 CO Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments have been reported by 4 of the LST Network Emergency Receiving Hospitals. These facilities typically treat 50-60 CO cases per year.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, highly poisonous gas emitted by car and truck engines, furnaces, fuel-burning space heaters, charcoal grills, cooking ranges, water heaters, fireplaces, portable generators, wood-burning stoves, and smoke. When inhaled, CO bonds 230 times more readily with the blood’s hemoglobin than oxygen; CO prevents hemoglobin from transporting oxygen. When not fatal, CO can cause serious loss of cognitive function if not detected early and properly treated.
Symptoms of CO poisoning include: dull headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, and loss of consciousness. CO poisoning symptoms may be misdiagnosed as flu, food poisoning or a host of other maladies.
It is advisable to install a carbon monoxide detector near the sleeping area, but away from appliances or humid areas, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
When CO poisoning is diagnosed, the standard of care is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. HBOT involves the patient breathing 100% oxygen while they are under increased atmospheric pressure inside a hyperbaric chamber. Usually, multiple HBOT treatments are required to completely break the carbon monoxide-hemoglobin bond so that the victim’s blood can again properly transport life-sustaining oxygen.
Carbon Monoxide can overcome unsuspecting individuals or entire families while they sleep. The best treatment results are obtained when medical treatment occurs promptly after the onset of CO poisoning.
In the event that carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected, it is critical that victims get to the hospital immediately.
About The Life Support Technologies Group (LST)
The Life Support Technologies Group (LST) is a Tarrytown, NY-based medical and life-support engineering company specializing in Advanced Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine Services to hospitals in the greater-NY region. LST has been in business for 20 years and currently provides services to 9 hospitals.
Bernie Chowdhury, Training and Marketing Director
The Life Support Technologies group