Trail Times file photo

Suspected carbon monoxide poisoning sends 3 to Trail hospital

Trail Station 374 responded to CO call Friday night

Three people were taken to the hospital in Trail late Friday after showing symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

The report of carbon monoxide exposure was called into the regional fire department just after 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 29, Captain Jason Milne stated in a Dec. 1 news brief.

A crew of three first responders from Station 374 arrived at the East Trail residence, located in the 1300 block of Third Avenue, within six minutes.

“All three occupants had symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and were transported to KBRH (Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital),” Milne reported.

“Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue would like to remind you to install a working CO alarm on every storey of your home. Make sure to test and clean your carbon monoxide alarms regularly and replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.”

The reported cause was a generator that was running inside the residence.

The fire department stresses that at no time should a generator, or any other fuel-operated machine, be run indoors.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas.

According to the Canada Safety Council, approximately 200 Canadians die each year from CO poisoning. The great danger of carbon monoxide is its attraction to haemoglobin in the bloodstream.

CO is breathed in through the lungs, and bonds with haemoglobin in the blood, displacing the oxygen that cells need to function. When CO is present in the air it rapidly accumulates in the blood. It will eventually displace enough oxygen to suffocate the person from the inside out, resulting in brain damage or death.

Carbon monoxide is a common by-product of appliances that run on flammable fuel. It can be emitted by gas or oil furnaces, or clothes dryers, water heaters, fireplaces, and space heaters. A clogged chimney or improper venting can cause problems as well.

Signs and symptoms of CO poisoning are many, people may display one or more, and are as follows: headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, flu-like symptoms, shortness of breath on exertion, impaired judgment, memory problems, walking problems, confusion, brain damage, depression, hallucinations, agitation, chest pain, drowsiness, visual changes, fainting and/or seizures.

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