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Old Man Winter and Carbon Monoxide

Posted: November 27th, 2012 | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

There is a definite chill coming to Illinois.  On my nightly walk with the dogs, hats and gloves are now a necessity.  Soon boots and thick coats will come out of hiding to add needed warmth when venturing outside.

Furnaces are beginning to kick on more frequently now.  Every year, like clockwork, this is the time that calls to poison centers regarding carbon monoxide start to rise.  Calls to the Illinois Poison Center in the October – December time period are usually about 50% higher than the June – September months. Read more »


What’s That “Chirping” Sound??

Posted: March 12th, 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

The “chirping” you hear this spring may not be the birds outside your window

 

One day you’re awakened by the sound of your smoke alarm with no signs of smoke or gas leaks, what do you do? This “chirping” or “beeping” sound could possibly be a sign that your detector has a low battery.  After changing the battery, it is important to check the test alarm.

But what does it mean if after changing batteries, the test alarm is not functioning? If your detector was installed over 10 years ago it is possible that your detector has passed its expiration date.  Hard to believe, but just like milk, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can go bad over time. Read more »


Baths Salts: Examples of Paranoia, Psychosis & Tragedy

Posted: June 14th, 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

I just love doing internet searches.  I am old enough to remember searching the library for journals, magazines and newspapers, books, and scanning microfiche for hours on end in order to find information for projects and articles.  Now with technology, key tidbits on almost any topic are just a few key strokes away.

Recently, I was reading a list serve thread about Bath Salts and a potential relationship with traumatic death by suicide or homicide. Read more »


Beware of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Extreme Weather

Posted: November 2nd, 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Every year like clockwork, the Illinois Poison Center sends out safety messages on how to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning during the fall and winter months.  Since the heater was on in my house last night, the timing seems just about right for this year’s piece, especially since I had recently seen an article regarding carbon monoxide poisoned patients in our region a few days before.

This past week however, Illinois was pummeled with high winds and rain followed by unseasonably cold weather.  The upcoming winter is also predicted to be one marked by severe cold and higher than average snow fall with some pundits calling this year to be a “wintry battle zone”.  This made me think about the other risk factors in carbon monoxide poisoning – the loss of power during extreme weather and severe winter storms. Read more »


Know the Difference Between Carbon Monoxide and Natural Gas?

Posted: December 15th, 2009 | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Winter is here, which means furnaces are on, fireplaces are crackling and ovens are baking up tasty treats.   Do YOU know the difference between these two potentially toxic gases?  If you didn’t even know there was a difference, you’re not alone.  Here’s the scoop.

First of all, breathing and oxygen (O2) 101: You take a breath of room air (which is about 21% O2 here on Earth), and the air goes into your lungs.  Your red blood cells pick up the O2 from your lungs, and they carry it on to your organs, which need O2 to work properly.  The organs that use the most O2 are your brain and heart….  Yep, those are pretty important ones. Read more »