We've been given a free batch of carbon monoxide detectors to use when we visit older people’s home in Staffordshire.
Carbon monoxide is the main cause of accidental poisoning in the UK home, causing around 600 people to be admitted into hospital each year.
By carrying carbon monoxide detectors with us on home visits, we hope to reduce the number of people repeatedly going in and out of hospital because of the gas.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are not always obvious and can be similar to those you would get with food poisoning or flu – such as headaches, feeling and being sick, stomach pain and shortness of breath. These symptoms mean people who have breathed in the gas often go to hospital.
After a short stay, patients’ improve as they are away from the poison and are sent home. They then go back to the place that has caused the problem and are then readmitted again in a vicious circle.
Long term exposure to carbon monoxide can cause problems such as difficulty thinking or concentrating and mood swings. In severe cases, it can cause vertigo, seizures and even death.
This dangerous gas is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, coal and wood do not burn fully in appliances, such as cookers, boilers and fires.
Revival’s support staff already visit patients’ homes to make sure they’re fit for people to be discharged from hospital. With the free detectors, donated by Foundations, staff will be alerted if there’s a potential leak, so it can be quickly investigated and fixed.
Ann Wood, Home Improvement Officer, said: “This is a great way for us to prevent people from being poisoned by carbon monoxide in their own homes.
“A lot of people we visit don’t have detectors of their own and if there is a leak, they’re going to be constantly poorly and having to go to hospital without knowing what’s really wrong.
“There’s always loads in the news about how busy A&E is and the need for bed space in hospital, so if we can prevent people from becoming ill and going in and out of hospital because of carbon monoxide then we are potentially saving people’s lives and saving the NHS beds, space and money.”
Find out more about carbon monoxide and how you can help prevent it in your home, visit the NHS website.