Mass. Fire-EMS agency targets carbon-monoxide poisoning

The department purchased six Masimo Rad-57 Pulse CO-Oximeters through a grant received from FEMA

Sentinel & Enterprise

TOWNSEND, Mass. — Townsend Fire-EMS now has the latest advanced technology available to quickly, easily and painlessly determine if a person is suffering from carbon-monoxide (CO) poisoning.

The Masimo Rad-57 Pulse CO-Oximeter uses multiple wavelengths of light to measure the level of carbon-monoxide poisoning in a person's blood on the spot, without a painful needle stick or blood draw.

The department purchased six devices through a grant received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The devices will allow fire personnel to help people as well as protect themselves during an incident.

Symptoms of carbon-monoxide poisoning mimic symptoms of the flu or even stress. They range from mild to severe headaches, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness and fatigue to altered judgment, confusion, mental clouding, fainting and seizures.

Shock, coma and death have been shown to follow if the level of carbon monoxide in a person's blood continues to increase.

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