The effects of carbon monoxide poisoning

Abilene, Texas (KRBC) - Carbon monoxide poisoning comes from a residual product of gas being heated.


"Any whether it is natural gas or propane you need ventilation if it does not have a vent on the heater because when it puts off carbon monoxide when it burns and if it feels up the room then you breathe it and it is deadly," said Larry Vaughn, a plumber at Bible Hardware.


People like propane heaters over natural gas heaters because they are easy to get.


“People buy propane heaters because they do not have access to natural gases," said Vaughn.


They call it “the silent killer” because the only way it can be detected is by having a carbon monoxide detector.


"Make sure that it is close to you by your bed that will alarm you and wake you up should that happen during the night because most of the time this does happen on cold nights," said Lacy Milford, the trauma program manager in the emergency department at Hendrick Hospital.


"Propane heaters are the same thing as a gas heater only propane is under a higher pressure and has no smell, and it does not rise like natural gas does, it holds down close to the ground which makes it a lot more combustible," said Vaughn.


It can happen to anyone, at any time.


"A squirrel has gotten into that pipe somehow over the summer months when they weren't using it and built a nest and when they went to go use it well the squirrel left because of the poisons gases, the gases built up in their home, filled their home up and there you have carbon monoxide poisoning," said J Sanders, the personal development manager for the Abilene Fire Department.


The symptoms can easily be confused with the flu, like a headache, nausea and confusion. When you have CO poisoning you do not have enough oxygen in your system.


"As the carbon monoxide binds to your blood it replaces the oxygen in your body and without oxygen your body can't survive," said Milford.


To prevent all this from happening you must make sure the burning gases have ventilation.


"You are going to be burning that to stay warm, you need to crack a window, you need to have some kind of ventilation and under no circumstances would you ever want to go to sleep with one of those operating without proper venation because obviously the end result could be devastating," said Sanders.


It is important to change your detectors out every five years to make sure it is functioning properly.



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