Dulos investigation

Dulos Investigation: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and Its Treatment

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What to Know

  • Fotis Dulos is facing murder charges in connection with the disappeareance of his estranged wife Jennifer Dulos, who vanished in late May after dropping her children off at school
  • Fotis Dulos attempted to take his own life on Jan. 28 before an emergency bond hearing
  • Fotis Dulos has been taken to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, New York for treatment after carbon monoxide poisoning

Fotis Dulos, who is accused of murdering his estranged wife Jennifer Dulos, is in critical condition Tuesday after attempting to take his own life at his Farmington home.

Farmington police said officers who responded to Dulos' Farmington home found him in a vehicle his garage and he was in medical distress from carbon monoxide poisoning. He was ultimately taken to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx for further treatment, a facility with a hyperbaric chamber.

According to the hospital's website, Jacobi has treated more than 3,000 patients for carbon monoxide poisoning, more than any other hospital in the country.

SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Treating Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Experts say immediate treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning focuses on breathing and circulation.

“We always talk the ABC’s: airway, breathing and circulation. And so the first thing is to make sure the airway is open so they can actually breathe. Then see if they are breathing on their own. If they are not then to perform rescue breathing or assist them in that. Then making sure they have a heartbeat so circulation,” explained Dr. John Delgado, a Hartford Hospital toxicologist.

Delgado said the first step is to get rid of the carbon monoxide in a person’s system as quickly as possible by delivering oxygen at a high pressure.

“The first thing is to deliver the highest concentration of oxygen that you can for the most severely poisoned patients that means you have to incubate them, put them on a ventilator to do that and then transport them as quickly as you can to a hospital,” he explained.

For a patient to lose consciousness, poisoning has to be severe. Even after treating the patient with oxygen, there is the risk for consequences like brain damage.

“If the person is unresponsive to do a CAT scan and see if there are any signs of early brain damage, to check their heart and see if there are signs of a heart attack that kind of thing,” Delgado said.

Delgado said hyperbaric treatment is typically done on a schedule over several days in hopes that it will improve a patient’s outcome.

“There are lots of hyperbaric chambers in the country. Most of them are used for wound care and so they are not equipped to take care of critically ill patients. So the reason he is being flown out so far is this is probably the closest one that was available that could take care of somebody this sick and there are not that many of them in the country,” he said.

Delgado noted that the most common cause of carbon monoxide poisoning is furnace issues in the home, not cars.

Officials have declined to offer details on Dulos' status, citing medical privacy concerns.

In-Depth Look at the Disappearance of Jennifer Dulos and the Investigation

Get an in-depth look at the case here.

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