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2 figures, 1 table omitted
The four major hurricanes that struck Florida during August 13–September
25, 2004, produced electric power outages in several million homes.1 After the hurricanes, the Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) investigated six deaths in Florida attributed to carbon
monoxide (CO) poisoning (CPSC, unpublished data, 2004). The Florida Department
of Health and CDC analyzed demographic and CO exposure data from these fatal
poisoning cases and from nonfatal poisoning cases among 167 persons treated
at 10 hospitals, including two with hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) chambers.
This report describes the results of that analysis, which determined that
misplacement of portable, gasoline-powered generators (e.g., indoors, in garages,
or outdoors near windows) was responsible for nearly all of these CO exposures.
Public health practitioners should recognize that post-hurricane environments
present challenges to the safe operation of portable generators and should
educate the public on the hazards of CO poisoning in these settings.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning From Hurricane-Associated Use of Portable
Generators—Florida, 2004. JAMA. 2005;294(12):1482–1483. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.294.12.1482
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