Friday, October 21, 2011

So Begins Another Heating and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Season

In our local broadcast market the first story broke this week: Fumes send 4 to hospital. One man, in critical condition, "was rushed to the nearest hyperbaric chamber," very likely Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, "where the deadly gas will be forced out of his bloodstream under pressure."

All across America temperatures are dropping and buildings are firing up their furnaces. Every year at this time we send out our warning about carbon monoxide poisoning prevention and emergency preparedness. In three years on this beat we have not recorded any noticeable increase in the number of hyperbaric chambers with 24/7 emergency access, like the one at Lutheran General and at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which so proudly promotes its on-call availability and location inside the emergency department. Now that's what we're talking about.

Someday there will be a round-the-clock chamber inside every ER from coast to coast. Until then, let's be careful in there. Install or check your CO detector today.

[Image: WGN-TV video capture]

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