Treatment for CO poisoning
1. Move the victim to an open area.
2. Remember, NO home therapy is available for CO poisoning.
3. Seek immediate medical help. Do not delay.
4. One word of caution to First Aid givers: Do not try to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. It could prove dangerous.
Even as many such incidents are reported, the owners of the geysers are hesitant to approach the consumer forums or the police. Muralidharan YG of Consumer Rights Education & Awareness Trust (www.creatindia.org) informs that so far they do not have any cases concerning safety issues of the gas geyser. One reason could be to safeguard the no-bill, tax-free purchases. But it is time that we, the consumers become aware of the dangers of the gas geyser and educate ourselves and others about its proper usage.
I was a victim of CO poisoning while using the gas-geyser during May, 2007. We had been using the geyser for about three years with no problem and were unaware of its hazards. I felt dizzy and fainted and was rushed to a nearby nursing home. The doctor was unable to find the cause, though, but after a day’s rest I was back to normal. It was only much later that I heard about another similar incident and we could relate it to the geyser. We continue to use the geyser, with all possible precautions. They are:
1. Do not lock the bathroom door and then turn on the heater. It would be best to let the bucket fill with hot water, turn off the geyser switch, and only then close the door.
2. Try to keep the ventilation open.
3. Get the burner and the whole unit checked regularly for any leaks/blocks.
4. Try to have time gaps between two people taking bath. Many people taking bath one after the other increases the carbon monoxide density in the bathroom. This could be dangerous for the last person taking bath.
5. According to a study conducted by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), the gas geyser switch should ideally be at such a height that it can be switched off easily.