Many people opt for gas geysers to save money on electricity bills; however, they do not follow the necessary dos and don’ts, leading to accidents and health hazards. Over the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of citizens being rushed to hospitals after being unresponsive while having a bath. They are known to have been diagnosed with gas geyser syndrome (LPG) – wherein due to a lack of ventilation while the geyser is on, carbon monoxide is emitted and affects the person.
While in a few cases, due to timely hospitalization, the patients have recovered with minimal problems, in most cases, the person has been affected with long-term neurological issues like memory loss, seizures or health problems like heart attack arrest.
An 11-year-old boy was one such lucky person who had a timely escape. He was having a bath, and while doing so, he was talking to his mother as he did not wish to go to school. Then suddenly, he stopped responding to her. The mother thought the boy might be upset, which is why he was not answering was shocked when she heard a ‘thud’. She opened the bathroom door and saw her son lying on the floor. He was unresponsive but started responding after a few minutes. He was immediately rushed to the hospital as he complained of weakness and a heavy head. The tests post-hospitalization confirmed that he had inhaled carbon monoxide.
When one inhales CO, it gets mixed with the blood. The haemoglobin in the blood gets attached to carbon monoxide, due to which the blood cannot provide oxygen to the body. Hence, when such patients come in, they are supplied with Hyperbaric oxygen treatment. This treatment helps in the circulation of oxygen through the blood in the body.
Also, unlike most gases, CO is odourless and colourless. Hence, a person will not be aware even if the gas is in the atmosphere and if they are inhaling it. Also, as this gas is heavier and tends to be below in a room, children are at a greater risk of inhaling them than someone sitting and bathing.
People should follow the necessary steps to keep themselves safe from such accidents.
It is essential to take adequate measures while using a gas geyser and to immediately seek medical help if one is losing consciousness or is unresponsive, especially after a shower or bath.
HOD & Sr. Consultant-Pediatrics