News: Carbon monoxide poisonings on rise amid power outages

AUSTIN, TX – Emergency responders are seeing a dramatic rise in the carbon monoxide poisonings as winter storms rage and power outages continue, KVUE reports.

Austin-Travis County EMS responded to 38 cases involving carbon monoxide yesterday. And in Houston, a mother and her eight-year-old child died after a car was left idling in the garage.

Kim Barker, a nurse and director of emergency services at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, told KVUE that, while common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning like minor headaches may seem minor, the results can be fatal.

She warned Austinites to avoid using gas ranges and stoves as heating sources, and to never burn charcoal or run a generator indoors. Furthermore, watch for symptoms including shortness of breath, dizzy spells, headaches, confusion, and vomiting.

Selena Xie, the president of the Austin EMS Association, told KVUE that she fears paramedics will start seeing more deaths as the power outages and freezing temperatures drag into their fourth day.

We will continue to monitor the situation and update this blog when possible.

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