Carbon monoxide can kill even in absence of fire source in home

If you are a resident of cold nation you may be aware of something called ‘carbon monoxide poisoning’, although such poisoning is not uncommon in temperate nations too. Carbon monoxide is generally produced from burning fuels of car, burning log woods to warm the room etc. Since this gas is odorless and tasteless we are generally not aware when this gas increases in the air in which we are breathing. Only time when we can be aware of it is after it has caused significant poisoning to cause a headache or vomiting. Mostly we hear about deaths occurring in the night-time when the people are in sleep, by the time they get the symptoms they may be incapacitated by the overdose of the poisonous gas to seek help.

To prevent such human deaths many developed nations have recommended their citizens to use an alarm which can detect carbon monoxide accumulation in room and alarm the inhabitants inside the house. In USA, in certain states it’s mandatory to use these alarms, but few states exempt individuals if they don’t have any fire source inside their homes. However, this latter group of people are neither safe too. Recent scientific researches proved that carbon monoxide gas can pass through thick walls since the molecules of this gas are much smaller than the wall’s ingredient molecules. Not only that even a well painted wall can be bit more protective than a naked wall but not totally protective.

Therefore, if someone is lighting a fire next door that can too affect you. At present the best solution appears to be installing an alarm. Nevertheless, if you are not living cold-snowy weathers a big open window may provide some help. If alarm is installed its important to replace the batteries of the alarm in time.

Finally, what should be done when you find someone as a carbon monoxide poisoning victim. Immediately call for help and take the victim out from that suffocating environment. Since this is a life threatening problem immediate medical care including a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may be needed. Generally hyperbaric oxygen administration is required as part of its treatment.

Consult with your healthcare provider, to find out the best possible interventions and strategies you can adopt to protect yourself and your family from this silent killer gas.

English: Breath carbon monoxide monitoring dev...

Breath carbon monoxide monitoring device displaying results of a test.

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