In support of Gov. Maggie Hassan’s recently signed proclamation naming November as Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month, it is appropriate to share the importance of this timely public health message in my first NHMS blog.
Many years ago as an undergraduate student at UNH, I volunteered as an EMT for a newly installed hyperbaric oxygen chamber. A donation from a New York university, the chamber was unusually large in comparison to other chambers and could contain four adults and a patient during a treatment. I recall some of the distinct differences to the patients, really challenging cases, we treated in the chamber to those I have treated in emergency departments in large inner cities and communities as well. The one striking commonality is not the severity of any given patient nor the tragedy for those who did not wake up or fully recover from an acute high concentrated exposure, but rather those who had presented after sustained, lower concentration exposures.