Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas that is produced when substances containing carbon are burned. It has been referred to as the “silent killer.”
Common sources of carbon monoxide include heaters, car exhaust, fireplaces, cigarette smoke, and portable generators. When the fumes from these devices aren’t properly vented, carbon monoxide can reach dangerous levels and cause serious health issues even death.
The effects of carbon monoxide poisoning become noticeable when its level in the blood becomes too high. Diagnosing elevated levels of carbon monoxide in the body is usually done through a blood test.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
• Feeling tired
• Shortness of breath
• Chest pain
• Memory problems
The best way to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning is to use caution and preventative measures when in a space where things are burning. It is important to have a functioning carbon monoxide detector in the on each level of the home. Chimneys in homes must be kept clear of debris, fireplaces should be inspected at least once a year and keep ducts open and clean that come from water heaters, stoves, and clothes dryers. In addition, do not use gas powered machines in closed spaces,
Anyone who is suspected of being exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide should be taken to an emergency room immediately. Treatment requires being given oxygen, sometimes in high quantities, to flush out the carbon monoxide. If not treated quickly the results are often fatal. If you suspect that there is a carbon monoxide, or any other gas problem in your home, best to evacuate the premises and call 911.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.