Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if inhaled. When power outages occur during natural disasters and other emergencies, the use of alternative sources of fuel or electricity for heating or cooking can cause CO to build up in a home, garage, or camper and to poison the people and animals inside.
Oxygen therapy is the main treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning. That's because when you breathe carbon monoxide, it binds with and blocks hemoglobin, a protein in your blood that carries oxygen throughout your body. This starves your body of oxygen.
It doesn't take much carbon monoxide in the air you breathe to get carbon monoxide poisoning. However, it takes a lot of oxygen to get rid of it.
-Get the Person to Fresh Air
-Move the person away from carbon monoxide area.
-If the person is unconscious, check for injuries before moving.
-Turn off carbon monoxide source if you can do so safely.
- Begin CPR, if Necessary
-Once at the hospital, the person is treated with 100% oxygen. Depending on the severity of the carbon monoxide exposure, oxygen is delivered in different ways:
-Mild poisoning is treated with oxygen delivered by a mask.
-Severe carbon monoxide poisoning may require placing the person in a full body, high pressure chamber to help force oxygen into the body.