Gas Geyser Syndrome has been noted in those individuals who spend long durations in the bathroom and is caused due to CO2 poisoning, caused due to emissions from bathroom fitted Gas Geysers. Most patients diagnosed with Gas Geyser Syndrome are in between the age group of 20-40yrs and are recorded to have had a prolonged bath, for more than 30mins-45mins before being rushed into a hospital. These patients are mostly affected due to prolonged exposure of Carbon Monoxide and Nitrogen Dioxide, during long leisurely baths in non-ventilated bathrooms. Such is the recent case of a 21yr old female from Mulund, who suffocated to death after spending more than an hour in the bathroom.
Is Gas Geysers Dangerous?
Gas Geysers are used domestically to supply hot water in bathrooms. Its usage is often on high demand because of its economic value; its installation is cheap and it doesn’t run on electricity. These LPG Gas Geysers if not placed in an adequately ventilated area, combust, leading to release and accumulation of Carbon Monoxide and Nitrogen Dioxide. If a person comes in contact with these gases, especially in non-ventilated bathrooms, it can prove to be fatal.
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What are the Symptoms and Treatment?
Symptoms of the syndrome include dizziness, seizures, unconsciousness and blackouts. Prolonged exposure can cause a person to slip into a coma or lead to a cardiac arrest due to CO2 poisoning. Once rushed to the Emergency Room (ER), ‘Blood-Gas Analysis’ and other general tests are run to rule out other causes. These cases are treated with oxygen therapy, mainly by ER Physicians and Neurologists. However, if not treated in time, the condition can be life-threatening or lead to long-term side effects. I
What are the Preventive Measures?
This simple household appliance if not used correctly, with necessary precautions, can be dangerous and can lead to disabling neurological conditions. Many people are not aware of this condition, doctors and the common man alike. Ensuring sufficient ventilation in bathrooms is the basic step to avoid these circumstances. Keep an eye on the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning like headaches, disorientation, weakness, nausea and chest pain. It is also important to note the following:
- The need of the hour is to control unregulated usage of Gas Geysers. If installed, these should be fitted outside bathrooms, with sufficient ventilation; and the bathrooms should have functional exhaust fans.
- Turn on the exhaust fan every time you use the bathroom
- Conduct episodic checks of the geyser
- Don’t have the geyser running continuously, keep gaps between each use
Inputs by Dr SanjithSaseedharan, Head of Intensive Care Unit, SL Raheja Hospital, Mahim-A Fortis Associate.
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