Have you or your loved ones been feeling sick while living in a rental property or while staying in a hotel or motel room? Have you experienced dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headaches, blurred vision, weakness or fatigue, shortness of breath, light-headedness or general flu-like symptoms? Do you experience relief from symptoms when you are away from your home? Are there other members of your family affected with similar symptoms? If so, these may be symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by someone’s negligence.
Carbon Monoxide Is A Silent And Invisible Killer
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas produced by gas appliances and other devices that operate by combustion. Essentially, it is what happens when oil or some other fuel gets burned in something like an engine, gas stove, or appliance. It is not a naturally occurring substance but occurs as part of a reaction.
Carbon monoxide kills an average of 430 people across the country every year. Between 15,000-20,000 will visit emergency rooms after being sickened by the substance. Because you cannot see or smell carbon monoxide, people may not know until it is too late that they have taken ill. Many of these people suffered harm due to someone else’s negligence.
Carbon monoxide poisoning happens most often in the winter when people use heaters in their homes. Generally, things that produce heat can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, including:
- Space heaters
- Portable generators
- Kerosene heaters
Carbon monoxide poisoning will often result from a malfunctioning piece of equipment and inadequate ventilation. Even if carbon monoxide is escaping, it will not injure someone if there is adequate ventilation to get the air out of the room.
Types of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Acute poisoning is a poisoning that doctors learn about right after it happens. This is when the person has sudden exposure to a large amount of carbon monoxide. This can cause headaches. In more severe cases, it may cause cardiac events. Over time, the person can experience neurological side effects.
- Chronic poisoning results from a steady but lower exposure over a prolonged time. The patient stands a better chance of making a full recovery once the exposure to the carbon monoxide ceases. Usually, this will make pre-existing conditions worse. This can happen when there is a very slow leak. This is more of a low-grade condition, but it can still pose long-term risks.
- Fatal poisoning occurs when carbon monoxide steadily builds up in the bloodstream and causes irreversible tissue damage. If the concentration of carbon monoxide is high enough, the person can die in as little as five minutes. There is little time to treat or rescue the victim.
In severe cases, carbon monoxide will lead to death. The risk of death can be between one and 31 percent. Even those who survive the exposure can suffer serious long-term injuries. This can impact the victim for the rest of their lives, leading to serious costs for their families and a diminished quality of life.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
The first way that doctors will diagnose carbon monoxide poisoning is to take a blood sample to look for traces of the substance. However, carbon monoxide poisoning is not always the first thing that doctors suspect when a patient presents symptoms.
Moreover, the half-life of carboxyhemoglobin (the item that is used in blood tests to determine if there was carbon monoxide poisoning) is extremely short. Often, by the time blood is drawn, the levels are down to normal. This costs doctors valuable treatment time that could help prevent long-term symptoms.
Is There Treatment For Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning includes normobaric oxygen therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, both of which administer 100 percent oxygen to the patient. Inundating with oxygen increases the speed at which the body processes and excretes deadly carboxyhemoglobin from the blood. Severe CO poisoning cases may also require life support and intensive care.
Call The Experienced Carbon Monoxide Lawyers At Riley | Ersoff LLP
If you think you have been poisoned by carbon monoxide in a rental property, hotel or motel, you may be entitled to compensation from the responsible parties. You are going to need an attorney that’s familiar with handling carbon monoxide poisoning cases. That’s where Riley | Ersoff LLP comes in.
Riley | Ersoff LLP has handled carbon monoxide cases across the United States. Grant Riley and Victoria Ersoff are dedicated to helping victims who sustained harm due to someone’s negligence. We handle every aspect of your case and fight to get you every dollar possible for your damages. To date, Grant Riley and Victoria Ersoff have secured over $120 million to date for our clients. Call 888-495-9272 or contact us online to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation and case analysis.