Generators during power outage blamed for CO poisoning increase


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – In the wake of widespread tornado damage and power outages, Miami Valley, OH doctors are seeing an increase in patients with carbon monoxide poisoning.

Dr. Randy Marriott, a physician in the emergency room at Miami Valley Hospital, said the staff there treated seven people for their symptoms between Tuesday and Wednesday morning. He explained the likely cause is people using generators without proper ventilation.

In a particularly devastated area near Troy Street in Old North Dayton, OH electricity was out in the entire neighborhood.

“It’s hard to say, we might not have electricity for two or three weeks,” said neighbor Eddie Whitehead.

Whitehead was using a generator outside for limited power. Dr. Marriott said those in affected areas should be sure their powered equipment is used in an area with proper ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

The doctor also encourages people to check on their loved ones without power and look for signs of CO poisoning.

“Remove that individual from the potential source, get them out in the fresh air, turn off all powered equipment,” recommended Dr. Marriott.

Symptoms of CO poisoning can start slowly and include the following:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of consciousness

The condition can be fatal, so it’s critically important to seek immediate help if you suspect CO poisoning.

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