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Poison Center offers ways to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning

Jan 7, 2014 - From staff reports

Every year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, 20,000 are seen in emergency rooms, and another 4,000 are hospitalized.

The Centers for Disease Control ranked Wyoming as one of the states with the highest reliable mortality rate from carbon monoxide.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include sleepiness, headache, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, shortness of breath and convulsions. The first step in treating carbon monoxide poisoning is getting the victim to fresh air. Then seek medical attention immediately.

Carbon monoxide is a gas produced when fuels burn incompletely. It has no color, taste or smell. The major causes of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

- Using heating equipment that is in poor repair

- Lack of ventilation in a car

- Using a charcoal grill indoors

- Using unvented space heaters

The Poison Center offers the following suggestions to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

- Inspect all fuel-burning equipment yearly.

- Vent fuel-burning heaters to the outside.

- Do not use a gas range or an oven for heating a room.

- Never use a charcoal grill or hibachi inside.

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