Weekly First-aid Topic: Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning in winter
From:Beijing Municipal Health Commission
Date:12/21/2020

Carbon monoxide poisoning accidents mostly occur in people using coal stoves in bungalows, and the heating season is a time when accidents are frequent. In an airtight room, gas poisoning may happen due to heating, cooking, poor ventilation or unreasonable installation of chimneys, or poor climatic conditions. People must pay attention to potential safety hazards when heating up in winter to avoid tragedies. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, palpitations, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. In severe cases, the patient may experience deep coma, loss of various reflexes, incontinence of urine and feces, cold limbs, as well as drop in blood pressure, and it may be life-threatening. Residents of bungalows should pay attention to regular pipe inspection, replacement of aging equipment, and room ventilation. People living in buildings may think that they don’t have to worry about the carbon monoxide poisoning problem that easily occurs when using heating coal stoves. But in fact, not only coal stoves for heating, gas water heaters, sleeping in the car with an air conditioner on, and eating hot pot with charcoal heating, etc. may lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Among them, accidents caused by household gas water heaters are relatively common. It is necessary to regularly check and repair stoves and water heaters. The burning device should be installed outside the bathroom with air inlets and outlets. When taking a bath, it is suggested to open doors and windows a little to allow air to circulate, and turn off the water heater after taking a bath. It is not advised to take a bath with too hot water or for a long time, which may cause dizziness, headache, vertigo, tinnitus, nausea, vomiting, palpitation and fatigue. When these symptoms appear, you should stop bathing immediately, open the door and let fresh air in, and call for help when you are conscious. If you find someone with carbon monoxide poisoning, you should immediately open windows and doors for ventilation, or let the patient leave the toxic environment and go outside with good ventilation and fresh air. Then you could check his or her breathing and heartbeat, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation if necessary, and call 120 in time for professional treatment. A carbon monoxide alarm can also be installed at home, and regular maintenance is required to ensure its effectiveness for your safety.