The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

According to the American Red Cross, more than 15,200 people go to hospital emergency rooms each year to be treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.

And, approximately 400 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Sadly, two people in Columbia died from carbon monoxide poisoning in their apartment complex this month.

In this WIS-TV interview with news anchor Judi Gatson, Dr. Alex Kranc of Lexington Medical Center’s Emergency department talks about what carbon monoxide is and how to recognize the signs of poisoning.

Carbon monoxide can build up to lethal levels in just a few days. Victims may complain of feeling like they have the flu or feeling faint after exposure. They can also have headaches or dizziness. Ultimately, high concentrations of carbon monoxide can starve the heart and brain of oxygen.

carbon monoxide detector

Carbon monoxide can be found in a closed garage with a car running, gas appliances in the kitchen, basements with improperly installed furnaces, hot water heaters or dryers, and gas or solid fuel stoves in living rooms.

Adequate ventilation in cold weather and using caution with heat sources can prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide gas and help reduce fire hazards.

It’s also important to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home. However, the American Red Cross reports that only one in 10 homes has one.

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