Two Storm-Related Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Outbreaks—Connecticut, October 2011 and October 2012
Source:Arch Environ Occup Health. 70(5):291-296.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Electric Power Supplies
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4691844
Funding:CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
Description:Storm-related carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning outbreaks occurred in Connecticut in 2011 and 2012, despite efforts to improve public messaging. We describe the cases and incidents and identify possible preventive interventions. We defined cases as blood carboxyhemoglobin ≥9.0% among persons exposed to alternative power or heat sources because of storm-related losses. We identified 133 cases, including 3 deaths, in 2011 and 30 in 2012, associated with 72 and 11 incidents, respectively. Racial/ethnic minorities were overrepresented (60% of 2011 patients; 48% in 2012), compared with Connecticut&apos;s minority population (29%). Generator or charcoal misuse (83% in 2011; 100% in 2012) caused the majority of incidents. Few CO-source operators recalled media or product CO warnings. Incorrect generator and charcoal use, racial/ethnic disparities, and incomplete penetration of warning messages characterized both outbreaks. A multifaceted approach is needed to decrease postdisaster CO poisonings.
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