Carbon Monoxide Sends 3 to Shock Trauma (UPDATE)
Officials warn of the danger of improper generator use.
Updated Tuesday, 5:30 p.m.
Two women were released from Shock Trauma Tuesday but one man remains hospitalized after they were found to have been exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide from an improperly ventilated generator, according to a county spokesperson.
The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) took three Howard County residents to shock trauma Tuesday morning after firefighters said the amount of carbon monoxide in a home was 30 times the normal level, according to a statement released by a HCDFRS spokesperson.
Firefighters and paramedics responded to a call on the 9700 block of Brevard Street in North Laurel where a woman had called 911, according to Jackie Cutler.
When crews arrived, they found three residents with high levels of carbon monoxide; a man was in life-threatening condition and two women in serious condition, according to HCDFRS.
Firefighters were using a piece of equipment called a gas badge which, according to Cutler, notified them quickly of the danger in the house. Being aware of the high levels of carbon monoxide allowed responders to quickly identify the residents’ symptoms as well as minimize the responders’ risk of exposure, according to Cutler.
Crews found a generator at the bottom of the stairs on the ground floor of the home, according to Cutler. It was in a doorway that led to the garage, but the garage was closed, restricting ventilation.
A generator should never be used inside, according to HCDFRS. Safety tips for proper generator use can be found online.
After the derecho in June, Howard County officials responded to at least three homes with unsafe levels of carbon monoxide poisoning. In August of last year, one man died after running a generator in an improperly ventilated garage.