With superstorm Sandy still wreaking havoc, the New York City Department of Health has alerted health care providers to be ready for an uptick of carbon monoxide poisoning and hypothermia cases, according to The New York Times.

The health department sent its missive to thousands of doctors, telling them that thousands of city residents — about 12,000 — still don’t have power or heat. The alert didn’t mince words. It said that people in homes without heat face “a significant risk of serious illness and death from multiple causes,” The Times reported.


The health department’s statistics were that the volume of carbon monoxide poisoning cases “was more than 10 times as high as expected the week of the storm and six times as high the next week,” The Times wrote. These cases ended up as emergency room visits and calls to the city poison center.

In an interview with The Times, City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley warned residents without heat not to try to keep warm by using their ovens or portable gas heats, which can release deadly levels of carbon monoxide.

The newspaper reported that a hospital in an area devastated by the storm, Far Rockaway, had treated 13 people for carbon monoxide poisoning. That group included a family that was using lit charcoal indoors to try to heat up their apartment.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *