Lakes Region EMS Warns Of Carbon Monoxide Dangers

Thursday, November 17th, 2011 at 5:56 am

With the cold weather finally taking hold, Lakes Region EMS wants you to consider some information about Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning. In the US, more people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning than any other type of poisoning.  Carbon monoxide is everywhere in our daily lives; it is at home, at work, in the garage, and even in our vehicles.  You cannot smell or see the toxic poison but at the right levels it can be devastating in just a couple minutes.  Lakes Region EMS would like to explain what carbon monoxide is and how to prevent it as well as what to do if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is created whenever any fuel such as gas, oil, wood or charcoal is burned.  It can come from running vehicles in a non-ventilated area, from gas appliances not running properly, or from chimneys not being cleaned on a yearly basis and many other ways.

The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.  Higher levels of carbon monoxide can cause one to become unconscious or death could even occur.  It can be very difficult to recognize these symptoms as carbon monoxide poisoning mimics other illnesses like the flu.

Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning is easy and Lakes Region EMS would like to suggest some Dos and Dont’s of carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • -Do have all of your appliances serviced each year at the beginning of the heating season
  • -Do choose appliances that are vented directly to the outside whenever possible
  • -Do install carbon monoxide detectors in your house.  It is recommended to have at least one per floor and needs to be within 10 feet of every sleeping room
  • -Don’t idle your vehicle in the garage whether the door is open or closed to the outside
  • -Don’t use a gas oven to heat your home at any time
  • -Don’t ignore signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

If your CO Alarm sounds or if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning at any time you need to immediately leave the house and move to fresh air.  Call 911 immediately.  Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly and should not be ignored-not even for a minute!  The Paramedics and EMTs at Lakes Region EMS are trained to recognize and treat victims of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and work closely with area Hospitals and medical specialists.

Lakes Region EMS is an integral part of the community and lives by the organization’s four pillars; Serving our customers with state of the art patient care, outstanding customer service, dedication to the communities they serve and financial health and responsibility. They provide 24 hour emergency coverage from stations in Chisago City, North Branch, and Rush City.

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