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Three Virginia Tech Students in Stable Condition at Duke


Duke Health News 919-660-1306

Three Virginia Tech students who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning were transferred to Duke University Medical Center Sunday evening. All three are conscious and alert, and they are listed in stable condition.

Elizabeth Burgin, Carolyn Dorman and Nichole Howarth were placed in a hyperbaric chamber for two hours shortly after their arrival at Duke. The chamber, which pushes pressurized oxygen into tissues and blood, is the standard treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning. Duke is one of a handful of medical centers in the Southeastern U.S. that has a hyperbaric chamber large enough to handle more than one patient at a time.

The three women, all of whom are 19 and are sophomores, have been admitted to the hospital and are expected to remain at Duke for one to two days for further evaluation and hyperbaric treatment.

"I was speaking with them while they were in the chamber, and all three said that they felt stronger and more alert shortly after the chamber was fully pressurized," said Bret Stolp, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Anesthesiology and a specialist in hyperbaric medicine at Duke. "These women benefited from excellent care and quick decision making at Blacksburg, which has given them the best possible chances for a full recovery."

Stolp will evaluate the women further on Monday morning, and Duke will provide an additional updates on their condition.

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