Carbon Monoxide Likely the Killer of Woman and Dog

In Berrien Springs, MI, the fire department found an elderly woman and her dog dead in a home due to carbon monoxide poisoning, according to WNDU.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Michigan

It’s important to install CO detectors in the home. This may be the only way to know if there are high levels of CO because it is odorless, tasteless, and colorless. (Flickr / Creative Commons / Matthew Bellemare)

The dead dog was the sign to authorities that the cause of death may not have been just old age.

Sunday evening, a hazardous materials team responded to a reported gas leak in the home.

It was confirmed that high levels of carbon monoxide were found in the home.

The elderly and pets are two of the groups that can be affected quicker by carbon monoxide poisoning.

The gas is odorless, tasteless, and colorless, so a carbon monoxide detector may be the only way to know if there are high levels of carbon monoxide.

Also people who are asleep can pass away before they notice that they are sick, making it especially dangerous.

The meters had very high carbon monoxide levels in the home, somewhere around 1,000 parts per million.

The measurements were taken several hours after the woman’s death. The readings would have been much higher before they shut down the home’s appliances.

CO poisoning was most likely the cause of death, but they are still investigating. Last night, the fire department was still trying to clear the home of hazardous gases. The levels had dissipated since they arrived.

It’s important to test your carbon monoxide detectors and put fresh batteries in them every six months. It is unclear whether or not this woman had a detector. Replace detectors every five years.

CO is associated with acute myocardial injury, or the death of cells around the heart tissue that results from lack of oxygen. In cases of chronic exposure, neurological damage is possible.

CO exposure, even at low levels, is associated with an increase in hospitalizations in the elderly for heart problems.


Gordon Johnson

Attorney Gordon Johnson is one of the nations leading brain injury advocates. He is Past-Chair of the TBILG, a national group of more than 150 brain injury advocates. He has spoken at numerous brain injury seminars and is the author of some of the most read brain injury web pages on the internet.

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