Today, Monday April 4, 2016 only 17 people of the dozens sickened by carbon monoxide poisoning at a West-Miami Dade office building were sent to the hospital. Others were treated at the scene and even more sent straight home feeling sick. The triage for this poisoning, as too often is the case, is being done all wrong. If you were exposed in the West-Miami Dade carbon monoxide poisoning, act now to preserve your long term health.
Every One Poisoned by Carbon Monoxide Should Go to Hospital
Every person who is sickened by inhaling carbon monoxide poison should be treated at a hospital and have his or her carbon monoxide levels taken. EMT’s who treat with oxygen at the scene and don’t transport poisoned individuals are making a serious mistake which could negatively impact those individuals health.
Don’t assume that the medical professionals who have treated you or your loved ones in the West-Miami Dade carbon monoxide poisoning have enough experience with carbon monoxide poisoning to understand what is best. In cases of carbon monoxide poisoning, you must be a patient advocate for yourself or your loved one. Too often emergency personnel are overwhelmed by the numbers of those impacted in mass carbon monoxide poisoning and thus falsely prioritize those who appear to be the sickest.
While it might seem that people who make a rapid recovery will likely have no lasting impacts, medical research indicates the opposite. In peer reviewed medical studies, it is found that even those with carbon monoxide levels under 10% can have long term effects and have such effects at almost the same rate as those who have severe levels of poisoning. See Cognitive and affective outcomes of more severe compared to less severe carbon monoxide poisoning published in the medical journal Brain Injury http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02699050802008075
In that study it was found that individuals with less severe poisoning had slightly worse outcomes than those with more severe. The difference 39/35% of the percent of those with cognitive problems was not statistically significant (within the margin of error.) The abstract summarizes the research:
Of the less severe CO-poisoned patients, 39% had cognitive sequelae, 21% depression and 30% anxiety at 6 weeks. Of the more severe CO-poisoned patients, 35% had cognitive sequelae, 16% depression and 11% anxiety at 6 weeks.
It is believed that the reason for the similarity between the two groups is that the COHb levels (carbon monoxide concentration) only predict the potential for hypoxic damage (lack of oxygen to brain cells) but have no correlation to the other poisoning related damage. It is as if the brain was stung by a bee and the resultant damage is more related to a given individual’s sensitivity to this given poison than how serious the sting. Damage from inflammation and the toxic processes set off in response to carbon monoxide poison account for the most significant brain damage. Those who survived the West-Miami Dade carbon monoxide poisoning are still susceptible to such damage.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Essential
If this blog is read today, Monday, then it is not too late for anyone in theWest-Miami Dade carbon monoxide poisoning with an abnormal COHb level to insist on hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The only know way to reduce the toxic (as opposed to hypoxic) aspects of carbon monoxide poisoning is to receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy. See the information on hyperbaric oxygen therapy at the University of Miami: http://www.umiamihospital.com/specialties/hyperbaric-therapy/about
Don’t assume because an ER doctor gave you a clean bill of health that you are home free.
We have done mass carbon monoxide poisoning cases before. See the North Mac and Prussing School cases. Survivors consistently start out feeling fortunate, as if they have survived a bomb. But like with a bomb blast, the damage to the brain can be long lasting. Problems get worse over time and significant disability, for as much as 35-40% of the survivors can result.
Insist on a full diagnosis including that a COHb level is taken at the hospital. If you survived the West-Miami Dade carbon monoxide poisoning and you have an abnormal COHb level, insist on hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Source: Co Information