Vandy doctors offer advice on avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning - WSMV News 4

Vandy doctors offer advice on avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning

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As temperatures stay chilly in Middle Tennessee, officials from Vanderbilt University Medical Center have issued a warning about carbon monoxide poisoning.

Experts at Vanderbilt say carbon monoxide poisoning becomes common during cold weather spells because families increase the use of gas, oil and coal burning appliances.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 170 people die every year nationwide from carbon monoxide poisoning from non-automobile consumer products.

"Since carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas, you may not even be aware there is a problem in your home until it is too late," said Donna Seger, M.D., professor of Clinical Medicine and medical director of the Tennessee Poison Center at Vanderbilt, in a news release. "Frequent symptoms are headache and nausea, symptoms which make one believe that they have the flu or a viral illness."

Vanderbilt experts recommend the following tips to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning:

• Install a CO alarm inside your home near all sleeping areas and test it monthly.
• Place the CO alarm at least 15 feet away from any fuel-burning appliances.
• Have gas, oil or coal-burning appliances, chimneys and fireplaces checked by a professional every year.
• Do not use a kitchen stove or oven to heat your home.
• Never use a grill, generator or camping stove inside your home, garage or basement.
• Do not leave your car or motorcycle engine running inside a garage, even with the garage door open.

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