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Winter Danger and All Year Round Danger is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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MURRAY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) — All week long, ABC4, has been highlighting winter sport injuries and how, our sponsors, Intermountain Healthcare is prepared to treat and rehabilitate those with severe injuries.

Broken bones aren’t the only winter sport injury you can face out in the cold.
Intermountain has also seen patients with high altitude disorders.
Intermountain has a special machine to help those people.
It also treats another more common and often deadly winter danger.

The most common use of a Hyperbaric Chamber is in severe cases of carbon monoxide poisoning or CO poisoning.
 
Dr. Lindell Weaver, the Medical Director of Hyperbaric Medicine at Intermountain Medical Center says anytime you burn carbon based fuel, carbon monoxide is produced. It can be harmful and sometimes lethal.

Dr. Weaver, “for example, a back packer or a hunter may have a tent and operating equipment inside. We treated three deer hunters from Montana. They were really badly poisoned, actually.  I remember a family of four in Central Utah presented with poisoning in their camper.”

Dr. Weaver says prevention is key.

Some common sense rules:
Do not operate equipment and especially generators indoors. 
Keep generators at least 15 feet from the home and pointed away from windows.
Don’t leave the car running in the garage.
Have your heating system checked annually.

A carbon monoxide alarm is another layer of protection.
It will cost between $30 to $40.
 
Dr. Weaver says he puts a CO alarm on every floor of his home in the bedroom. He also carries a portable CO alarm when he travels. He recommends replacing the alarm every 5 years.
CO is often times referred to as the silent killer. He says know the symptoms.
If you feel dizzy and you are suffering from symptoms similar to a flu without the fever, get out of the space immediately.

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