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Carbon monoxide poisoning after hurricane Katrina--Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, August-September 2005.
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  • Description:
    Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005, on the Gulf Coast of the United States, causing loss of life, widespread property damage, and power outages. After hurricanes, some residents use portable generators and other gasoline-powered appliances for electrical power and cleanup. These devices produce carbon monoxide (CO), and improper use can cause CO poisoning (1,2). During August 29–September 24, a total of 51 cases of CO poi- soning were reported by hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) facili- ties in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. This report describes these cases and the rapidly implemented report- ing system that identified them. CO poisoning can be pre- vented by reducing exposure to CO through appropriate placement and ventilation of gasoline-powered engines. Investigations into CO poisonings in Florida after hurri- canes in 2004 revealed that approximately 40% of patients had received HBO2 treatment. To monitor cases of CO poisoning from HBO2 facilities in the three affected states, CDC collaborated with the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medi- cine Society (UHMS) to initiate reporting after Hurricane Katrina. Members of UHMS were asked to report cases, which were compiled and submitted to CDC and shared with each affected state on a daily basis. CO_KatrinaMMWR2005.pdf
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