Charity supporting victims of “deadly gas” faces closure

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A CHARITY dedicated to supporting victims of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning could be facing closure in a matter of weeks.

Carbon Monoxide Awareness, which supports people poisoned by the potentially-deadly gas, may be forced to shut before the New Year arrives.

Leaders of the charity the country’s desperate economic plight continues to bit and force public and private sector organisations to curb charitable donations and support.

Unless a saviour can be found, the doors at Carbon Monoxide Awareness, which has been running for seven years, could finally close on December 31st – ironically the same day Coronation Street launches a hard-hitting storyline on the “silent killer” gas.

The on-screen CO poisoning story is expected to create a spike in public interest and knowledge about the gas which can have fatal consequences for the unprotected.

Lynn Griffiths, the charity’s founder and President who was herself a victim of CO poisoning, said: “We have had many successes. We established Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week which is now a national institution and a fixture in the calendar and our news media campaigns have generated massive publicity.

“We have also worked closely with councils, the emergency services and many others on a range of campaigns and we have been a source of support to victims of this terrible gas. I spend hours talking to people who have been poisoned by carbon monoxide because often they have no one else to turn to who truly understands what they have been through. Both NHS Direct and the College of Emergency Medicine pass my contact details on to victims of CO poisoning.”

Lynn has not entirely given up hope of a last minute reprieve, but recognises that the charity’s chances of survival are slim. In what may be her final message, she is appealing for a restoration of old-fashioned community spirit to help raise awareness of carbon monoxide over the festive season.

“I want people to think of others in their community. They may have family or friends who are at risk and there are certainly many young people, older people and immigrants to the UK who live in poverty and don’t have CO alarms. Be neighbourly, keep an eye on them and take action if any appear to be experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning.”

Carbon monoxide (CO) is the most common poison in the UK. Early symptoms are similar to common ailments such as food poisoning, viral infections, flu or simple tiredness. These may include headache, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting, aching muscles, difficulty breathing, vision changes, high blood pressure, tinnitus, rapid pulse, dizziness, vertigo and pins and needles.

Judgement is impaired and the victim may go through emotional changes and become confused and clumsy. If unchecked and the victim does not leave the toxic environment, loss of consciousness, coma and death may follow.