One man dead, dozens hospitalized for carbon-monoxide poisoning
A man was found dead in a Kirkland house filled with carbon monoxide Saturday, while Seattle hospitals are reporting an "epidemic" of poisoning...
Seattle Times staff reporter
A man was found dead in a Kirkland house filled with carbon monoxide Saturday, while Seattle hospitals are reporting an "epidemic" of poisoning cases that doctors blame on the use of charcoal grills indoors.
Since Friday night, Virginia Mason Medical Center has treated 48 people in its hyperbaric chamber, where severe carbon-monoxide cases are taken. There, sufferers receive a heavy dose of oxygen over a two-hour period. Harborview Medical Center reports more than 50 cases in the past 24 hours, many of which it has sent on to Virginia Mason for hyperbaric treatment.
Seven cases are reported critical.
Just before 11 a.m. Saturday, Kirkland firefighters were called to a house in the 10500 block of Northeast 124th Street after someone reported finding a man dead inside the house. Fire crews found a generator operating the living room and a 26-year-old man dead on the floor. Firefighters measured a high level of carbon monoxide in the home, Kirkland Fire Department Capt. Larry Peabody said.
During the 1993 Inauguration Day storm — to which this week's windstorm has been compared — Virginia Mason saw 35 carbon-monoxide poisoning cases over a three-day period.
"This has the potential to be the worst case of carbon-monoxide poisoning in the country," said Dr. Neil Hampson, a hyperbaric medical specialist at Virginia Mason.
Hampson said 45 of the 48 people treated at Virginia Mason were poisoned by smoke from charcoal briquettes; the other three were from a gas-powered portable generator.
Public Health-Seattle & King County warns against using unvented, combustion-powered sources of heat or power indoors and posts tips in multiple languages:
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