With winter upon us, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital is urging members of the community to be vigilant to protect themselves against carbon monoxide poisoning. During this time of year, many turn on their heating systems and mistakenly warm their cars in garages, which can be fatal.
The National Safety Council recommends you install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector in your home near your bedrooms. A good rule of thumb is to check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall to ensure its effectiveness. The CDC offers these additional tips:
· Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
· Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors.
· Never use a generator inside your home, basement or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door or vent; fatal levels of carbon monoxide can be produced in just minutes.
· If you have a chimney, have it checked and cleaned every year, and make sure your fireplace damper is open before lighting a fire and well after the fire is extinguished.
· Make sure your gas appliances are vented properly.
· Never use a gas oven for heating your home.
· Never let your car run idle while in the garage.
· Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Low to moderate carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms can include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness. High poisoning can include mental confusion, vomiting, loss of muscular coordination, and loss of consciousness.
“Carbon monoxide is odorless, which is why it is important to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home,” said Mike Queary, RN, BSN, emergency department manager. “If you are having any of the above symptoms, please get to your local emergency department immediately.”
To learn more about how to protect yourself and loved ones from carbon monoxide poisoning this winter, visit: http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/carbon-monoxide.aspx.
About HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital
Since its inception in 1916, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville (GSS) has been dedicated to excellence in healthcare for those living and visiting their communities. GSS has accomplished this by providing comprehensive health services and meeting the needs of patients served through their compassionate care, business integrity and community responsibility. GSS provides a 24/7 emergency department that is fully staffed by physicians and highly-trained nurses, and also features inpatient and outpatient services, including a 24-hour laboratory and an imaging department that meets today’s highest standards for diagnostic imaging technology. GSS has an advanced surgery department and an acute inpatient care unit. Dedicated to being a hometown hospital, GSS’ home health and rehabilitation departments are committed to excellence with a team of professional nurses and therapists providing a variety of medical services and rehabilitative therapies, all designed to help patients heal in their own environment. The group of visiting specialists in the outpatient clinic works closely with GSS to help keep the healthcare services local even if a specialized procedure or exam is required. GSS strives to be the first choice for the community’s healthcare needs. For more information about HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, visit www.hshsgoodshepherd.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 local systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.