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STUDY REPORTS 165 CASES OF CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING IN KENTUCKY

By Tammy Gay

 

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“Incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning can be reduced through education and implementation of appropriate prevention strategies.”

Tim Struttmann,
director of the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center
.

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Jan. 25 , 2001 (Lexington, Ky.) -- During 1998 and
1999 there were 165 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning in Kentucky, according to a recent study conducted by Tim Struttmann, director of the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center at the University of Kentucky.

In addition, there were 50 probable cases of poisoning during this period, which is the most recent statistical data available.

“Incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning can be reduced through education and implementation of appropriate prevention strategies,” Struttmann said. “Because it is colorless, odorless and nonirritating, carbon monoxide’s presence is not detected easily, and people presented for treatment may be unaware of exposure.”

It is important to have carbon monoxide detectors installed in homes and other buildings where there is a possible source of exposure, Struttmann added. The effects of carbon monoxide exposure can be fatal or result in neurological effects that may be irreversible.

Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may be similar to flu, such as headache, fatigue, dizziness and nausea. Infants may be irritable and have poor appetites. In very young children, two years old and younger, symptoms include irritability, crying, poor appetite, nausea/vomiting and lethargy.

There are several suggestions to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in homes and other buildings where there is a possible source of exposure.
  • Appliances and equipment should be installed
    properly and maintained.
  • Fuel-burning equipment and gasoline-powered tools and engines should not be used indoors or in enclosed spaces.
  • Motor vehicles should not be allowed to idle in
    closed or open garages.

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