Utah church carbon monoxide poisoning crisis – 22 Hospitalized!

Utah church carbon monoxide poisoning crisis | Credits: Getty Images
Utah church carbon monoxide poisoning crisis | Credits: Getty Images

United States: After suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning at a church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building in Utah, at least 22 people were hospitalized on New Year’s Eve.

According to the Sevier County Sherriff’s Office (SCSO), two medical calls from the building in Monroe East, about 170 miles south of Salt Lake City were received by them. The first call was about a 4-year-old girl having breathing problems. Earlier in the week, she had been sick. Therefore, she was believed to be having further symptoms of that illness, ABC News reported.

After getting a report about an adult man feeling unwell, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) called back to the same building. This time, the man was believed to be suffering from low blood sugar levels, officials reported.

The Monroe City Fire Department was called to check the church building for possible carbon monoxide poisoning after another family reported experiencing a headache on reaching home from the church.

More about the case

Firefighters evacuated the church building after finding high levels of carbon monoxide. Around 22 persons were admitted to Sevier Hospital for treatment, while others had to be transported to area hospitals.

SCSO said, “This required ten ambulance transports to get everyone to a hospital that had a hyperbaric chamber that could treat the patients,” and added further, “Sevier County EMS did not have enough ambulances or personnel for this many transports, so other agencies were contacted for assistance. The last ambulance was back from the final transfer at 10:00 a.m. [Monday] morning. Some of the Ambulance crews made more than one trip.”

As per the ABC News report, SCSO did not immediately respond to the request for comment. The symptoms and condition of the patients are currently unclear.

According to the sheriff’s office, the cause of the carbon monoxide poisoning is currently unclear. However, the church officials said they are investigating and working to resolve the problem.

About Carbon Monoxide poisoning

It occurs when a person inhales a large amount of the gas, which replaces oxygen for carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide is particularly dangerous because of its odorless and tasteless characteristics, and therefore, ingesting too much of it can lead to serious damage and death.

As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are weakness, headache, dizziness, confusion, chest pain, nausea, and vomiting.

The federal health agency also mentioned that even though everyone is at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, elderly people and infants, as well as those with chronic heart disease, breathing problems, or anemia, are more likely to get sick, ABC News reported.

Each year, more than 400 people die due to carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the CDC.

CDC recommends installing a battery-operated or battery-backup carbon monoxide detector and replacing the batteries each spring and fall in order to prevent poisoning.

Also, it recommends to have water heaters and heating systems serviced every year. In the case of having a chimney, make sure it is checked or cleaned every year, too.

As per ABC News reporting, seeking further medical evaluation is recommended in case of experiencing the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.