Earlier this month, 20 adults and children fell ill at a Florida ice-skating rink due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Five of the attendees were taken to hospitals. Local officials suspected the source of the carbon monoxide to be a faulty gas dehumidifier. Unfortunately, this is not the only instance of carbon monoxide poisoning in Florida which put children at risk of illness and other serious outcomes.
Given the widespread use of carbon monoxide in combustion devices, such as those found in vehicles, stoves, gas engines, gas ranges, and heating systems, it’s critical to understand more about this potentially lethal gas and what to do after exposure.
Carbon monoxide is not easy to detect with our natural senses as it is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas. In high concentrations, it can be deadly to humans and animals. Unfortunately, the easiest way to tell if carbon monoxide is in the air without specially-designed devices is through identifying the symptoms. This may include:
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Slowed Reflexes
- Complications Breathing
- Fainting Spells
The consequences of prolonged or severe exposure to carbon monoxide can be disastrous, especially to infants, children, pregnant women, elderly, and people with lung disease or cardiac insufficiency.
Within enclosed and semi-enclosed spaces, the buildup of carbon monoxide can quickly create a dangerous environment. This is why many homes and commercial properties are equipped with several smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Theoretically, these detectors work to alert people of carbon monoxide in the air, but this can only occur if the detectors are properly maintained and placed effectively.
While there are many safeguards you can take within your home, such as placing and maintaining detectors, periodically inspecting fuel burning appliances, and keeping chimneys clear, the incident mentioned above shows carbon monoxide poisoning can occur elsewhere. This can take place on public and private property such as schools, apartment complexes, and retail stores. Liability for the poisoning may be owed to the landlord, property owner, gas company, or manufacturer of the defective product.
If you or a loved one has experienced carbon monoxide poisoning on a public or private property, the first step is to seek immediate medical attention. Make sure that you document as much as possible, including the medical report, any incident reports filed by the property owners, contact information for witnesses, and photographs of the scene of the incident or suspected faulty devices.
The next step is to contact a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney who is experienced in carbon monoxide poisoning cases. Your attorney’s experience, access to distinguished experts and ability to examine all aspects of the event for details that can be used to your benefit is invaluable. If you have experienced health complications, medical bills, loss of work, or psychological harm, you should not have to suffer for the negligence of others. Carbon monoxide poisoning is never something to be taken lightly.