About 100 people have been poisoned by carbon monoxide produced by generators and charcoal grills used for warmth and light during the widespread power outages caused by a major storm in western Washington state.
One man died of inhaling the colorless, odorless gas. At least six other people were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning in Oregon.
“We’re dealing with a carbon-monoxide epidemic in western Washington,” said Dr. Neil Hampson of Virginia Mason Medical Center, which treated more than 55 people in its hyperbaric chamber, where pressure is used to force oxygen into the blood.
“This has the potential to be the worst case of carbon-monoxide poisoning in the country,” Hampson said.
The region’s worst windstorm in more than a decade struck on Thursday, knocking out power to more than 1.5 million homes and businesses. more