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Managing a Mass CO Poisoning: Critical Issues and Solutions From the Field to the Hyperbaric Chamber

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 July 2016

Adriano Valerio
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency and Intensive Care Unit, Operation Center SUEM, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata (AOUI), Verona, Italy
Matteo Verzè
Affiliation:
Diagnostics and Public Health Department, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
Francesco Marchiori*
Affiliation:
Diagnostics and Public Health Department, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
Igor Rucci
Affiliation:
Diagnostics and Public Health Department, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
Lucia De Santis
Affiliation:
Emergency Department, Mater Salutis Hospital, Legnago (Verona), Italy.
Irene Aprili
Affiliation:
Diagnostics and Public Health Department, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
Lucia Antolini
Affiliation:
Diagnostics and Public Health Department, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
Anna Sannino
Affiliation:
Diagnostics and Public Health Department, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
Alessia Canello
Affiliation:
Diagnostics and Public Health Department, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
Enrico Checchin
Affiliation:
Diagnostics and Public Health Department, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
Francesca Mazzola
Affiliation:
Diagnostics and Public Health Department, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
Sara Ferrari
Affiliation:
Diagnostics and Public Health Department, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
Marta Garon
Affiliation:
Diagnostics and Public Health Department, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
Alberto Schonsberg
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency and Intensive Care Unit, Operation Center SUEM, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata (AOUI), Verona, Italy Diagnostics and Public Health Department, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
Stefano Tardivo
Affiliation:
Diagnostics and Public Health Department, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
*
Corrrespondence and reprint requests to Dr Francesco Marchiori, Diagnostics and Public Health Department, University of Verona (AOUI), Istituti Biologici II - Blocco B, Strada le Grazie 8, 37134 Verona, Italy (e-mail: framarchiori@gmail.com).

Abstract

Carbon monoxide acute intoxication is a common cause of accidental poisoning in industrialized countries and sometimes it produces a real mass casualty incident. The incident described here occurred in a church in the province of Verona, when a group of people was exposed to carbon monoxide due to a heating system malfunction. Fifty-seven people went to the Emergency Department. The mean carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) level was 10.1±5.7% (range: 3-25%). The clinicians, after medical examination, decided to move 37 patients to hyperbaric chambers for hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy. This is the first case report that highlights and analyses the logistic difficulties of managing a mass carbon monoxide poisoning in different health care settings, with a high influx of patients in an Emergency Department and a complex liaison between emergency services. This article shows how it is possible to manage a complex situation with good outcome. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:251–255)

Type
Concepts in Disaster Medicine
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc. 2016 

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