Harrisburg, PA –

Posted by David Wenner/The Patriot-News December 18, 2007 12:08PM

Following power outages, several people with carbon monoxide poisoning have been taken to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

The cases stem from people using alternative heating sources to heat their homes, said Dr. Chris DeFlitch, who heads the emergency room at Hershey.

At least one person had to be hospitalized, he said. “They didn’t have the appropriate ventilation, and carbon monoxide built up inside the home,” DeFlitch said. There were no deaths.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that cuts off oxygen to the brain. It can cause fatigue, a feeling of illness and, in extreme cases, death.

It can result from using heating sources such as kerosene or camp heaters in areas that lack sufficient ventilation.

The medical center also has seen an increase in people suffering from injuries caused by slips on ice and traffic injuries.

Some of the clinics and medical practice located around the edge of the medical center, or nearby, where without power from early Sunday through late Monday afternoon.

The main medical center, which is on a separate power grid and which also has emergency generators, wasn’t affected.