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Winter Brings More Carbon Monoxide Poisonings

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Wyoming has one of the highest carbon monoxide mortality rates in the country.

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Each year, carbon monoxide poisoning kills nearly 500 people nationwide and sends over 15,000 to the emergency room.

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

In 2010, Wyoming’s Poison Center received 54 calls concerning carbon monoxide. But this figure can be misleading.

“The problem with this is that carbon monoxide poisoning often times is under-reported so they’re may be even more cases out there that we don’t even know about.”

Joan McVoy is a registered nurse with the Nebraska Regional Poison Center.

“Just in the last couple of weeks, there’s been a lot of deaths from carbon monoxide and interesting enough, they’ve all been from sort of different sources.”

The major causes of carbon monoxide poisoning include: Using heating equipment that is un-vented or in poor repair, lack of ventilation in a car, and using a charcoal grill indoors.

“It’s important for everybody to understand what the symptoms are of carbon monoxide because they’re very similar to the flu or even to food poisoning and sometimes people get them very confused.”

The first step in treating carbon monoxide poisoning is getting the victim to fresh air and then seek medical attention immediately.

For more information, questions, or concerns, contact the Poison Center by calling 1-800-222-1222.

“There’s always a nurse here, twenty-four seven, with that 800-222-1222 number. Anybody has even a question about carbon monoxide, they can call that number.”

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