Houston hospital says it has treated 60 patients for carbon monoxide poisoning

Thursday, February 18, 2021
1 hospital treated over 60 for carbon monoxide poisoning
The desperate pursuit to stay warm during the historically cold weather has become tragic in some cases, and as explained in the video, the cases of carbon monoxide poisoning in th

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Some families could be going into their third night without power in freezing temperatures. But it's important to be careful about what steps you're taking to heat your house.

Jesus Garcia has made a lot of trips to the gas pump to run his family's generator.

"We've been pumping gas since yesterday," said Garcia.

SEE ALSO: 3 adults and 4 kids transported after carbon monoxide poisoning in Plum Grove

The generator is powering his father's oxygen machine.

"We have to have a generator. There's no choice. We bought a brand new generator just for this reason for emergency purposes," said Garcia.

But Garcia isn't alone. People in search of generators and propane tanks lined up outside of home improvement stores as they are desperate to find warmth.

"It was close to freezing this morning, then we got the space heater going so it warmed it up a bit," said one shopper.

SEE ALSO: Woman and 8-year-old girl die of carbon monoxide poisoning at home in southwest Houston

With more people in the dark and looking for ways to stay warm, hospitals have been busy. Memorial Hermann at the Texas Medical Center alone has treated 60 patients for carbon monoxide poisoning. ABC13 has learned 100 patients total in the TMC were treated for the poisoning.

"It's a completely odorless gas. You can't see it. You can't smell it. You have no idea that you're inhaling it and getting poisoned," said Dr. Samuel Prater at Memorial Hermann/UTHealth.

Doctors say if you're running your car for heat, you should only do that outdoors, never in a garage. Even with the door open, dangerous fumes can penetrate your home. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, nausea, and even problems with vision.

SEE ALSO: Woman who lost 5 family members to carbon monoxide giving away free detectors

"The therapy for carbon monoxide is high levels of oxygen, right. We have plenty of oxygen in the hospital to deliver that, and a certain number of patients are going to need what's called hyperbaric oxygen, which is oxygen delivered at really elevated levels of atmospheric pressure," said Prater.

As for Garcia, he plans to keep making more trips to the pump for as long as he needs.

"If the generator stops working, I have enough oxygen back up. I have enough containers to keep him going," he said.

The video above is from a previous story.

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