Relatively speaking, this winter has been very mild, but Wyoming's Poison Center is advising citizens to continue to be wary of carbon monoxide as the number of calls they have received is the same as it has been in previous winters.

Nationwide, carbon monoxide poisoning kills nearly 500 people yearly and sends more than 15,000 people to emergency rooms.

What's worse on a national scale is that the Center for Disease Control has ranked Wyoming as one of the states with the highest reliable mortality rate from carbon monoxide.  The current prognosis for Wyoming is not great either as the number of carbon monoxide related calls to the Poison Center was higher in 2011 than it was in 2010.  This fact might be misleading however as carbon monoxide poisoning is vastly under-reported nationwide.

To better educate the people of Wyoming and make strides to reduce the amount of hospitalizations and deaths from carbon monoxide, the Nebraska Regional Poison Center has sent a list of symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning as well as primary causes of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • Sleepiness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred Vision
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Convulsions

The first step in treating these symptoms is to get fresh air, followed by immediate medical attention.

The major causes of carbon monoxide include:

  • Poor quality/conditioned heating equipment
  • Lack of ventilation in a car
  • Using a charcoal grill indoors
  • Unvented space heaters

For more information on carbon monoxide poisoning or the Nebraska Regional Poison Center, visit their website, or call 1-800-222-1222.