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Gas Safety Trust to help fund CO poisoning survivors study

Liverpool John Moores University will be latest academic institution to get financial backing from organisation to support its research into understanding different exposure levels

The Gas Safety Trust (GST) will be providing funding to Liverpool John Moores University for research into the experiences of individuals that have suffered from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning at different levels of exposure.

Funds are being provided by the trust to build accounts of individuals that have been subjected to acute, chronic, and low-level exposure to the gas as part of wider efforts to financially support and build a wider body of research to better understand CO poisoning and its symptoms.

GST said in a statement, “Many of these people have never had the opportunity to share what happened to them; the opportunity has never arisen because no one has thought to ask those questions; they are the silent victims.”

The research by Liverpool John Moores University is expected to compile evidence from survivors of CO poisoning around their experiences to exposure, an area, it argues, where there is limited help and support for affected individuals.

GST chairman Chris Bielby said the research findings would plug a “critical gap” in understanding the effects of CO poisoning.

He said, “A better understanding of the experiences of those who have been poisoned will help us to improve diagnosis, treatment and the way in which we deal with people. This is an important piece of work which will be keenly watched by policymakers, industry and healthcare professionals.”

Julie Connoly, a senior lecturer at Liverpool John Moores said funding for the research was vitally important for individuals that had been affected from dangerous levels of exposure to CO.

She added, “I am delighted at the recognition that the Gas Safety Trust are giving to my research. In showing this progressive attitude, they are acknowledging the importance of listening to people’s experiences, which helps us gain a comprehensive perspective of the devastating nature of carbon monoxide poisoning. This is vital for all those who have been affected.”

The GST has provided funding for a number of studies in recent years as a means to try and bring together knowledge and data to support the gas appliance industry and regulators in formulating new policy.

In November, the organisation announced funds to support Lancaster University’s research into the impact of low-level carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning on cognitive functions and whether symptoms could be misdiagnosed as dementia in some cases.

The work is being conducted with the support of the West Midlands and Merseyside Fire Services.

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