Carbon monoxide poisoning remains all too common throughout the U.S. Fire smoke, portable generators, gas stoves, water heaters, pumps, blowers, and other gas-powered equipment can easily lead to dangerous and deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
As an EMT, first responder, or ambulance driver, it’s important to be aware of the risks and warning signs associated with carbon monoxide. You may encounter carbon monoxide on the job, so it’s best to have a single gas CO monitor on hand. Learn more about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and how to best protect yourself on the job.
Protecting Yourself and Others from Carbon Monoxide
As an odorless, colorless gas, carbon monoxide is often known as the “silent killer.” Exposure to carbon monoxide may lead to flu-like symptoms, including nausea, lightheadedness, headaches, and fatigue.
When arriving on the scene, you should be on the lookout for warning signs that the victim may be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. If you see smoke or that a gas stove, portable generator, or other gas-powered device has been left on, turn it off and open the doors and windows before attending to the patient. It’s also important to keep an eye out for symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning when caring for your patients.
Carbon monoxide poisoning often occurs in confined spaces, including bedrooms, garages, and even your ambulance. Back in 2010, carbon monoxide poisoning led to the death of an EMS student in Texas. The student fell asleep in an EMS station not realizing that someone had left the portable generator running. With a little forethought, this tragic accident could’ve been avoided.
Choosing the Right Carbon Monoxide Detector for the Job
To protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning, you’ll need a portable CO detector for EMS professionals. You will need to assess the situation when arriving at the scene, and CO poisoning may not be the first thing that comes to mind. To simplify matters, invest in a compact carbon monoxide detector that clips right onto your go bag. If there is a carbon monoxide leak, the detector will alarm (sound, flash and buzz), so you can address the problem as soon as possible.
These portable carbon monoxide detectors can cost as little as $100. With a clip detector, you don’t have to worry about carrying around more bulky equipment. Just keep the detector clipped on the outside of your jump bag and you can focus on the situation at hand. These detectors are also maintenance-free for up to two years. You don’t have to replace the battery or re-calibrate the device.
Detecting carbon monoxide is so much easier when you have the right equipment. You and your colleagues can watch out for signs of carbon monoxide poisoning without drawing your focus away from the patient. If you need help finding the right single gas CO monitor for the job, contact the professionals at PK Safety.