Injuries Related to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide can injure or kill without a hint of danger or warning. The reality is that this odorless, colorless silent killer attacks unsuspecting victims and by the time carbon monoxide is identified as a culprit, it is often too late.
How is Carbon Monoxide Generated?
Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels such as propane and butane or from gasoline and methane used in gas-powered tools, equipment, and motor vehicles. House fires, cigarette smoke, heaters, generators, gas-powered lawn tools, and automobiles can all contribute to the buildup of carbon monoxide.
What Are The Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Exposure to carbon monoxide in quantities of 100 parts per million (ppm) or more can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. In mild cases, symptoms may include lightheadedness, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, and headache.
If exposed to low doses over an extended period of time, victims of carbon monoxide poisoning may experience confusion, memory loss, and depression.
Typical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning therefore can include:
- Decreased mental alertness- confusion, memory loss and dizziness
- Headache and nausea
- Chest pain
- Unconsciousness and death in extreme cases
How Are Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Cases Treated?
One of the challenges in treating carbon monoxide poisoning is reaching the correct diagnosis. Many of the symptoms mirror those of common maladies including the flu, stomach virus, food poisoning, and sleep deprivation.
To diagnose carbon monoxide poisoning, doctors administer tests including blood tests, sleep studies, cardiology tests, neurology tests, and psychiatric and psychological examinations. Your balance may also be evaluated.
If it is determined that they have a diagnosis of carbon monoxide poisoning, the patients may be given hyperbaric oxygen treatment or have pure oxygen administered to them.
Sometimes even with proper treatment, neurological symptoms continue to appear long after the initial exposure.
What Can Be Done To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
With carbon monoxide exposure, the best prevention is detection. Because sometimes gas-powered tools or equipment can run improperly and leak carbon monoxide, the safest bet is to place a carbon monoxide detector that can identify the risk and alert occupants to seek safety.
Because of the substantial risk carbon monoxide poisoning poses, its invisible nature, and the lack of successful proven results in treatment, those responsible for the harm need to be held accountable for the hurt caused. If the poisoning was due to a defective product or installation, for example, the companies responsible should be held accountable.
Talk to Cullan & Cullan LLC if you or a loved one suffered carbon monoxide poisoning. We can be reached at (402) 882-7080.