Carbon Monoxide poisoning (CO) is a silent killer and a killer to take seriously. What makes this kind of poisoning so dangerous is the fact that it’s a colorless and odorless gas that can only be discovered by a carbon monoxide detector, which is why it’s so important to install one in your home, or office. According to the CDC, at least 430 people die each year in the U.S. from accidental CO poisoning, and approximately 50,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency room each year due to accidental CO poisoning. CO can be found in fumes created by portable generators, stoves, lanterns, and gas ranges, or by burning charcoal and wood. CO from these origins can build up in confined or partially enclosed areas. Inhaling even tiny amounts of CO can be deadly. Neurological effects may be delayed days or weeks after poisoning. Prolonged exposure may cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and permanent neurological damage.
If CO poisoning is caught in time, hyperbaric oxygen treatment can help save your life, and here’s how. When a person inhales carbon monoxide, your body replaces the oxygen in your blood with CO, and your red blood cells will absorb it quicker than they consume the oxygen, depriving your organs of the oxygen it needs to function correctly. When treated with HBOT, pure oxygen will be transported into our blood plasma helping to block all cellular mechanisms of CO toxicity. This will lessen the risk of further deterioration of the body, and increase a person’s chances of survival.
At the Eustache Institute, when patients come to us for treatment, we work with their doctors to prescribe the proper treatment plan. If you are experiencing the symptoms described above, please contact your medical doctor or visit the nearest emergency room as soon as possible. For more information on how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, please see details below.
How to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
1. Purchase a Carbon Monoxide Detectors at your local hardware stores, like Home Depot and other retailers.
2. Purchase alarms that are certified by a testing laboratory. Follow the instructions about installation. Here are a few other guidelines regarding detectors:
a. Co detectors should go on each level of the home and outside each sleeping area.
b. Always test the alarms once a month and check the batteries. Most alarms will go off if the battery runs low or they break down.
c. If you have several alarms, connect them all. This way, if one of them detects trouble, they will sound off together.
d. If you own a boat or motor/mobile home, detectors are also available for them too.
3. If your CO alarm goes off, please contact your fire department, and immediately open up the windows and wait outside. Always make sure that everyone else in the house has access to fresh air as well, and clear from potential harm.
4. Don’t go back into the house until it’s safe. And once again, if you experience any of the symptoms listed in the article, please head to the nearest emergency room for medical treatment.
Dr. Elena Eustache is a specialist in neurofeedback therapy, with a Ph.D. in Psychology and Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Dr. Elena Eustache helps her patients reach their full potential so they can live the life they’ve always dreamed. You can read more about neurofeedback therapy by visiting her blog. You may also find her on Instagram and Facebook.