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Four children collapse after 'suspected' carbon monoxide leak in home

Four children collapse after 'suspected' carbon monoxide leak in home

Published by Ross Macmillan for 24dash.com in Housing
Tuesday 7th December 2010 - 9:58am

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Ambulance bosses are urging people to fit carbon monoxide alarms to their property after it was feared that a carbon monoxide leak had led to four members of a Telford family to collapse.

A 999 call to West Midlands Ambulance Service this morning raised fears that all seven in the family were suffering from the potentially deadly gas.

Group Station Manager, Rob Marsh, said: “The initial call said that the family of seven; two adults and five children (three boys and two girls who were aged 6 to 16 years) had all been sick overnight and four of the children had collapsed.

“Given the symptoms, we advised them all to leave the house for their safety.  We carried out checks on them to see if they were suffering from the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can in extreme cases prove fatal.

“Staff from the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) used specialist monitoring equipment to check the carbon monoxide levels in the house.  No issues were identified. 

“Thankfully, after observations, the doctor was able to discharge them all and none required hospital.  It appears they are all suffering from a bad case of the winter vomiting bug.

“What this case does show is the importance of having a carbon monoxide detector in your property.  Had they had one, we would have been able to rule out this very serious condition a lot earlier.

“We would urge anyone who has a gas boiler or gas fires to ensure that they have a detector as it could quite simply save your life.  Every year, people die from this completely preventable situation.”

James Price, HART Manager, said: “Severe cases of carbon monoxide poisoning can result in a fast and irregular heart rate, hyper­ven­tila­tion, confusion, drowsiness and difficulty breathing. Seizures and loss of consciousness may also occur.

“Carbon monoxide is known as the ‘silent killer’ because you cannot see it, taste it or smell it.  Just like having a smoke alarm in your house can be a life saver, so can fitting a Carbon Monoxide Alarm and one is an essential in every household. 

“A Carbon Monoxide Alarm could be an ideal present for someone this Christmas - It may just save their life.”