A survey of residential carbon monoxide detector utilization among Connecticut Emergency Department patients

Department of Emergency Medicine and Traumatology, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT 06102, USA.
Clinical Toxicology (Impact Factor: 3.67). 06/2012; 50(5):384-9. DOI: 10.3109/15563650.2012.683576
Source: PubMed


The use of carbon monoxide detectors may prevent deaths due to unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning. Currently, there is limited data regarding the characteristics of residential carbon monoxide detector use.
To determine the characteristics of residential carbon monoxide detector use.
A survey was administered to a convenience, cross-sectional sample of Emergency Department patients between June and August 2011. Inclusion criteria included patients who were older than 18 years, able to understand written or spoken English or Spanish, and lived in independent residential settings. Survey questions assessed the presence or absence of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors within the participant's home, the frequency of regular battery changes for both devices, location of carbon monoxide detectors within the home, and reasons for not installing carbon monoxide detectors (if applicable). Correlations between racial background, geographical area of residence (urban versus suburban), and income were also assessed.
A total of 1030 patients were surveyed. While 97.8% of respondents reported smoke detector use, only 44.4% had home carbon monoxide detectors installed. Only 17.2% had carbon monoxide detectors installed in or near their sleeping area, the correct location for detector placement. Carbon monoxide detector usage was found to be lowest among households earning less than $25,999 per year (27.3% reported having detectors), non-Caucasians (only 42.0% of African-Americans and 24.7% of Hispanics surveyed reported using detectors compared with 57.8% of Caucasians), renters, and urban residents. Reasons given for not having a carbon monoxide detector varied; many answers were consistent with a lack of awareness of the importance of using carbon monoxide detectors.
Residential carbon monoxide detectors were underutilized compared to smoke detectors. Increased public education, especially for minorities and lower income populations, is necessary regarding the use of carbon monoxide detectors for poisoning prevention.

1 Follower
7 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Gas leaks in buildings can cause explosions and fire, which can result in serious burns, death and/or property damage. Since people may not smell the odorants added to natural and propane gas for a variety of reasons (e.g., being congested or asleep) electronic gas detectors could assist in detecting gas leaks. This study examined the extent to which electronic gas detectors are being used by persons reporting that they receive gas service. Three hundred seventy six participants were asked whether they have gas service at their residence and if so, what kind. Also they were asked what kinds of electronic gas detectors they had. Results showed that about half of the participants had gas service. While almost everyone reported having smoke detectors in their residence (whether or not they received gas service), less than half of the gas service users reported having a carbon monoxide detector. Very few gas service users (about 9%) reported having electronic gas detectors. Implications for warning about gas leaks and how HFE professional can aid in the production of better warnings in this domain are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2012
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Carbon monoxide poisoning (COP) often produces severe complications and can be fatal. Because this topic has not been well delineated, we investigated long-term prognoses of patients with COP (COP[+]). Methods In this retrospective nationwide cohort study, 441 COP[+] patients and 8820 COP[−] controls (120) from 1999 to 2010 were selected from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database. Results Thirty-seven (8.39%) COP[+] patients and 142 (1.61%) controls died (P<0.0001) during follow-up. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) of death were 5.24 times higher in COP[+] patients than in controls (P<0.0001). The risk of death was particularly high in the first month after COP (IRR: 308.78; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 40.79–2337.56), 1 to 6 months after (IRR: 18.92; 95% CI: 7.69–46.56), and 6–12 months after (IRR: 4.73; 95% CI: 1.02–21.90). After adjusting for age, gender, and selected comorbidities, the hazard ratio of death for COP[+] patients was still 4.097 times higher than for controls. Moreover, older age (≥30 years old), male gender, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and low income were also independent mortality predictors. Conclusions COP significantly increases the risk for long-term mortality. Early follow-up and secondary prevention of death are needed for patients with COP.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · PLoS ONE