HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)-- With this colder weather moving in, a lot of people are firing up their furnaces for the first time. And because of that there have been a number of carbon monoxide emergencies in our state.
A house in Manchester is dark and empty. The windows still open after six people were taken to the hospital.
Firefighters say they became sick from carbon monoxide. Two children and their mother had to be rescued by police as they were on the verge of collapse.
"This is the problem every winter when it starts to get cold and they turn the furnace on," said Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbob, Hartford Hospital.
The cold is here and Hartford Hospital has seen a spike in carbon monoxide poison from plugged chimneys and cracked furnaces.
Doctors say the early symptoms are like the flu which are:
- Red in the face
- Tired, warn out feeling
"As it gets more severe you can have chest pain, have problems breathing, pass out, have trouble walking, trouble talking and that is when you get really sick and you may be too sick to call for help," said Johnson-Arbob.
There is a hyperbolic chamber at Hartford Hospital and it is how they cure carbon monoxide poisoning. The idea is to get the carbon monoxide out as quickly as possible so they put a mask over the patient and then pump it full of pure oxygen. That way they get the carbon monoxide out and sometimes it can take three treatments to get the patient healed.
"Children are at risk because their brains are still developing and the elderly are at risk because they usually have underlying problems that can give them brain damage later on," saod Johnson-Arbob.
While the hyperbolic chamber does work quickly, doctors say it's so important to recognize the symptoms early to be able to get out of the house before you become impaired.
It will be the symptoms that tip you off to carbon monoxide in the area.
"You can't see it, you can't smell it, you can't taste it. The only way you can hear it is if you have a carbon monoxide detector in the house that alarms in its presence. So it is silent killer with no good warning properties," said Johnson-Arbob.
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