Poison Expert Says Carbon Monoxide Can Kill

Michael wasn't exactly sure why he felt so bad. He though he had the flu or food poisoning.

He was nauseated, vomiting, dizzy and tired, and his head was pounding. It turned out, he had carbon monoxide poisoning. He found out through a quick call to the Wyoming Poison Center, followed by a trip to his local hospital.

This is one of the many scenarios played out on a regular basis with the poison center, according to spokeswoman Joan McVoy. But, she said, Michael was one of the lucky ones, because more than 400 Americans die each year from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning and another 4,000 are hospitalized.

Furthermore, she says the Centers for Disease Control or CDC has ranked Wyoming as one of the sates with the highest reliable mortality rate from the poison.

So, she says its imperative that the citizens of Wyoming recognize the signs.

She said the danger is that carbon monoxide is a gas produced when fuel doesn't quite burn completely and it has no color, taste or smell. And the major causes come from using everyday items, inappropriately, like space heaters and charcoal grills indoors without any ventilation. A car exhaust can also produce the gas if the vehicle is left running inside a closed structure.

To be safe inside your home, she said, install carbon monoxide alarms on every level. As for your vehicle, she said have your muffler and tailpipes checked on a regular bases. And do not use a gas range or an oven for heating a room.

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