CDC’s Tracking Program: Real-time Monitoring of Carbon Monoxide Poisonings in Wisconsin

– It was late in the evening
on Saturday December 13, 2014. There was a Junior
Hockey League Tournament at the Lake Delton Ice Rink. – People had kind of been feeling sick throughout the weekend, but it was actually
sorta of the last night of the tournament that
after the game was over, and there weren’t a lot of
people left in the rink, one of the players actually collapsed and passed out in the locker room. – An ambulance arrived
and crews determined that there is a high likelihood
that, that player, as well as others, were
experiencing CO poisoning symptoms. – On the night of the event, folks were experiencing
shortness of breath, headache, nausea. Things they just kind of chalked
up to the cold or the flu, like any of us would, and it wasn’t until
someone actually passed out that they realized something
bigger might be at play here. – There were 92 people
who actually ended up in the emergency department. After this event, we did start to kind of wonder about whether or not there were possibly other events that we weren’t detecting, that we weren’t being made aware of, and we wanted to have a
system in place to notify us of those events if that happened. – Lake Delton situation
was a extreme shock to me, ’cause I couldn’t
believe that there wasn’t some sort of detection equipment in there. – Wisconsin was one of the first states to join the tracking network back in 2002, and we’ve been active in it ever since then. After Lake Delton, what it really brought
home was the need to have real time information, to
be notified right away, and actually having staff available to be able to begin to mount a response. – What we discovered after
the Lake Delton event, was that had someone been
able to pay attention in real time to the
data that was coming in from the poison center, we would have seen the event
happening as it was happening. In collaboration with the
Wisconsin Poison Center, we came up with a system by which staff, add the tracking program, can get that information in real time, and that 24 hours a day someone would know if there was an anomalous number of people calling the poison center about a carbon monoxide related concern.

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