Carbon Monoxide Summit to be Held Virtually on November 5

Doctor holding clip board

The Injury Prevention Center at Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock is proud to work with the CO Alliance to present this valuable information about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning

Debra Samaha, RN, MPH, program manager of the Injury Prevention Center

Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 will visit the emergency room due to CO exposure, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized. To address this concern, the Vermont-New Hampshire Alliance for Prevention of Carbon Monoxide Incidents (CO Alliance), a partner of the Injury Prevention Center at Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD), will hold a virtual Carbon Monoxide Summit on November 5. This free summit will feature three speakers addressing the dangers of CO poisoning and how to avoid it, as we enter the colder months and the risk for CO poisoning increases.

“The Injury Prevention Center is proud to work with the CO Alliance to present this valuable information about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning,” said Debra Samaha, RN, MPH, program manager of the Injury Prevention Center. “CO poisoning is entirely preventable, which makes it all the more tragic when it happens. As the weather gets cooler, we do start to see a rise in CO incidents, so the time to be checking CO detectors and providing health care providers with information to pass on to their patients is now.”

CO is a gas that is invisible with no taste or odor. This time of year it is of special concern , as it can result from faulty heating appliances, cars left running in garages and the use of generators during power outages. CO is found in fumes produced when fuel is burned in cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges or furnaces, and can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it, causing serious injury and death.

“Carbon monoxide poisoning is something we all need to be vigilant about,” said Ardis Olson, MD, emeritus professor of Pediatrics at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and a chairperson of the CO Alliance, who will facilitate the summit. “While we do see a rise in CO issues in the winter, the risk is ever-present. Northern New England is particularly at risk as many homes and buildings have older, less efficient heating systems. This annual summit provides valuable education to public health stakeholders about CO poisoning prevention.”

The following speakers will present during the summit:

  • Lyrysa Smith, a journalist and author of A Normal Life: A Sister’s Odyssey Through Brain Injury, who will share the story of her older sister’s severe brain injury from CO poisoning and its impact on their relationship and on their family
  • Roger Berkowitz, President and CEO of Legal Sea Foods, who will share details about a CO incident that happened in one of his company’s restaurants
  • Brianna J. Sleezer, PhD, who will present an overview of her research on low-level, chronic CO poisoning and the need for further actions to mitigate future CO poisonings

Attendees will also receive updates from the CO Alliance, the National Fire Protection Association, the Northern New England Red Cross and the National Carbon Monoxide Awareness Association about their work over the last year in mitigating CO risk.

To register for the summit, visit

About Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH), New Hampshire’s only academic health system and the state’s largest private employer, serves a population of 1.9 million across northern New England. D-HH provides access to more than 2,000 providers in almost every area of medicine, delivering care at its flagship hospital, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH. DHMC was named again in 2020 as the #1 hospital in New Hampshire by U.S. News & World Report, and recognized for high performance in 9 clinical specialties and procedures. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health includes the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, one of only 51 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation; Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the state’s only children’s hospital; member hospitals in Lebanon, Keene, and New London, NH, and Windsor, VT, and Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and 24 Dartmouth-Hitchcock clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. The D-HH system trains nearly 400 residents and fellows annually, and performs world-class research, in partnership with the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT.