‘Silent killer’ risk on the rise

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The risks of suffering carbon monoxide poisoning in Bedfordshire are on the rise according to a latest Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

Known as the silent killer, there has been a 17% rise in recorded incidents of suspected poisonings at NHS Trusts in Bedfordshire says campaign group Project Shout.

The group, dedicated to raising awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide, says the young and elderly are most at risk with cases of suspected poisonings up by 44% in children for recorded cases year on year from July 2014 to June 2016.

In the over 60s it has increased by 150%.

There were 88 incidents in 2015/16 (compared to 75 the previous year), with an average of nearly 2 people attending A&E every single week with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning.

On a national level, there was a 10% rise in recorded incidents of suspected CO poisoning.

Rob Lyon, campaign director for Project SHOUT, said: “Carbon monoxide poisoning can only be detected by an alarm as you can’t see, smell or taste it.

“Children and older people are particularly at risk because their bodies are more susceptible and in the case of some older people, are less likely to keep their appliances serviced.”

Around 50 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be prevented by fitting an alarm.

For further information and advice on being carbon monoxide safe, visit www.projectshout.com.