Duke Health hyperbaric chamber life-saving tool against carbon monoxide poisoning

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- As it gets colder, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases in your home. But special equipment at Duke Health could be the difference between life and death.

"We're one of the few facilities that has a 24/7 hyperbaric facility," said Dr. Richard Moon of Duke Health.

Called the silent killer, carbon monoxide can be emitted from heaters in your home, car exhaust or grills, and it can poison you and your family. It is more prevalent during the winter months.

"Severe carbon monoxide poisoning can be associated with long-term memory problems or even worse - people who just can't function," Moon said.

The hyperbaric chamber at Duke Health has the ability to eliminate those side effects.

"We increase the pressure inside the chamber to two or three times atmospheric pressure and that facilitates the removal of carbon monoxide from the body and also reverses some of the long term complications," Moon said.

Still, Moon said he hopes the chamber will get little use and that your family will take steps to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

"The best message is prevention. And I can't offer a strong enough message to buy and install a carbon monoxide detector," he said.

If you need a carbon monoxide detector, you can find them at hardware stores or give your local fire department a call and they can help.
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