Carbon Monoxide—The Invisible Killer
In the United States alone, more than 400 people die annually from carbon monoxide poisoning the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports. The odorless, colorless gas is produced when coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, and natural gas are burned. Carbon monoxide is found in combustion fumes and can build up in closed or semi-closed spaces, poisoning occupants of homes, apartments, and cars. When there is a substantial amount of carbon monoxide, red blood cells replace oxygen with CO. The CO blocks oxygen from entering and can damage tissues, eventually causing death.
Recently, in Adamsville, Ohio, two people were found dead; the autopsy results showed carbon monoxide in the man’s system, and authorities believe the toxicology report will reveal carbon monoxide in the woman’s system as well. Less than a week later, two Californian men died of carbon monoxide poisoning due to an electric generator in a garage, and a 27-year-old man was found dead in Minnesota — carbon monoxide poisoning to blame. As can be seen, by these few examples, carbon monoxide is a serious matter, especially in winter months. Two-thirds of non-fire, CO-related deaths occur November through February. In order to keep you and your loved ones safe, familiarize yourself with the following information:
Early signs of CO poisoning include flu-like symptoms:
- Shortness of breath[/one_half]
Advanced signs of CO poisoning include:
- Mental confusion
- Loss of muscular coordination
- Chest pain
- Loss of consciousness
- Cerebral edema
- Ultimate death
To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, follow these guidelines:
- Install carbon monoxide alarms in your home and make sure they are working properly
- Have your heating systems inspected and serviced annually by a trained professional
- Ensure there is no obstruction in chimneys or vents
- Open the fireplace before lighting a fire; keep open until ashes are cool
- Keep generators away from your home. Do not use them inside your home, or in your garage, even if the windows/doors are open
- Never barbeque in the garage; never use a charcoal grill indoors
- Know CO symptoms and, if you suspect CO poisoning, get to fresh air and contact 911 immediately.
Fellerman & Ciarimboli Law Contact Info:
Fellerman & Ciarimboli Law Firm represents victims of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you have been injured in an accident, call our Wilkes-Barre office at 570-714-4878 or our Philadelphia office at 215-575-9237 for a free consultation.
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.