West Jordan, UT – It was a potentially deadly close call for a West Jordan family Tuesday morning, after carbon monoxide poisoning knocked a mother and father unconscious. Their daughter came to the rescue just in time.
Richard and Wendy Hansen run a pre-school from their West Jordan home. However, Tuesday morning, the green light to come in was not turned on.
We’re just sitting there and the light didn’t come on and didn’t come on, recalls Brae Craig, Richard and Wendys daughter whose child also attends the pre-school.
Brae started to worry so she called the house but there was no answer. She was able to get a hold of her 17-year-old sister on her cell phone. My sister came running out the door and said, dad says he’s hurt but he won’t get out of bed and mom won’t wake up, recounts Craig.
Brae rushed inside. She says, My dad was laying there and his eyes were open and I thought he had had a stroke. I tried to wake my mom up, but she was like curled on her side snoring like she was sleeping.
Brae called 911 and got her teen brother and sister out of the house. Her family was taken to Intermountain Medical Center – her mom in critical condition – just minutes away from death.
It was scary, you go in there and I didn’t know what was going to happen with my parents, states Craig.
Brae says her dad began to make a quick recovery and is being treated in an eight-person hyperbaric chamber with his two teen children.
Her mom, is in the I.C.U., but is expected to recover as well.
Brae says she was told that both parents had a carbon monoxide poisoning level of 35 percent.
Concerning levels are really anything above 15 or 20 percent if a person has symptoms, explains Dr. Lindell Weaver with Intermountain Medical Center.
Dr. Weaver adds that treatment is based on the severity of symptoms, not on the level of exposure, Outcome is somewhat unpredictable. People who have been poisoned, some will recover fully, some won’t. Some will have continued problems.
Fire fighters and the Hansen family want to stress that CO detectors are vital. The carbon monoxide alarm broke just a few months ago and they had not gotten around to replacing it. At least one should be place on every floor of the home. The best is a digital monitor that will give you a CO reading before there is even a threat of danger.
Fire investigators say in this case, the furnace was generating carbon monoxide and the pipe that allows fresh air in and bad air out was blocked by insulation.
Here are some signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. In the early stages, it can be confused with flu, including: shortness of breath, mild nausea and headache.
Moderate levels of exposure lead to bad headaches, dizziness nausea and light-headedness.
When levels are high, it can cause a loss of consciousness.
The best thing for victims is to get them into fresh air immediately. If you can’t get them outside, open all windows and doors and call 911.