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01/11/2018 / By Ralph Flores
Experts have released guidelines on how to protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning following the tragic death of a 13-year old girl in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
Major winter storms heighten the risk of poisoning — with people turning up the heat to cope with the weather. However, the same heating devices also produce fumes that contain carbon monoxide. If the room or area is not properly ventilated, this odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas builds up, which can ultimately lead to serious consequences.
In an article that appeared in Newswise, Dr. Diane Calello, executive of the New Jersey Poison Control Center, explained that “severe weather often results in illness and deaths from hypothermia and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, as well as exposures to a variety of substances.”
If there’s a silver lining to this, it’s that people can do something to prevent exposure to the gas. “Rest assured that the state’s poison control center will be here to respond to your calls for help, 24/7,” Dr. Calello reassured.
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The most common symptoms of CO poisoning include headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. However, people who are asleep or are inebriated are at greater risk — they can die from CO poisoning without ever having symptoms.
If you think you’re suffering from CO poisoning, taking immediate action can be the key to your (and your family’s) survival.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has noted at least 5,000 deaths in the past decade, with an average of 430 deaths per year. In the latest string of carbon monoxide-related deaths, a teenager died on January 4, 2018, after an apparent case of poisoning in New Jersey. Aside from the teenager, 35 other victims in the multi-family home were rushed to the hospital following the incident. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the poisoning. (Related: Chemical leak at New Hampshire hospital nearly causes 20 patients and staff to lose consciousness … this is a place of HEALING?)
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