Hurricane carbon monoxide cases happen after almost every hurricane. Before Hurrican Mathew we we warned about operating gas generators indoors in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in this blog. In the wake of a natural disaster, the incidences of carbon monoxide poisoning increases. Hurricane Matthew seems to be no different.

According to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, fourteen people had to be treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. First Coast News reported that eight of these people were hospitalized after a generator was turned on between two apartment buildings Friday night.

The general rule to remember with generators is to “take it outside.” This is the only way to protect the ones you love from the damage that can be caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, which can cause disabling brain damage and neurological problems. When exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide for prolonged periods of time, the results can be fatal, as it was in the recent case in Daytona Beach.

The Orlando Sentinel reported the death of a nine-year-old boy, who was found not breathing in a residence. He was found along with his parents and another child, who were overcome by some type of fumes. The 911 tape revealed that the father seemed to be unconscious and the mother appeared to have a headache and be confused.

The authorities found a gas generator in another room with the door closed and towels underneath it. The generator seemed to be out of gas when they found it. Taking it outside is the only way to protect your family from the gas fumes that can be fatal from a gas generator.

The surviving parents and child were taken to Halifax Hospital, and their conditions are unknown. If it was enough to cause one death and a grown man to become unconscious, it’s safe to say they may experience problems in the future from the carbon monoxide poisoning incident. Delayed neurological sequelae is the name of the cognitive conditions that can follow the poisoning.

Hyperbaric oxygen is the best treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning because it reduces the risk of a patient experiencing cognitive sequelae in the weeks following the carbon monoxide incident.

It is unfortunate that the young child had to die in this tragic accident. Young children and pets are going to be more vulnerable to carbon monoxide. They are going to be the first affected because of their smaller size. They are more likely to be overcome by the toxic fumes.

When operating a generator, remember to always take it outside. Keep it away from doors and windows, and point fumes in a different direction. If you feel symptoms, get to fresh air immediately. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath and fatigue. Follow the owner’s manual, and keep it away from doors and windows. Also important is to stay alert with carbon monoxide detectors in the home, which should be checked regularly.

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