(NewsReady.com) – More than 100,000 people visit emergency rooms across the United States each year for accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. At least 420 people died because of it. Dozens of people in Utah recently fell ill after being poisoned.
On New Year’s Eve, 54 people attended a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meetinghouse in Monroe. The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office released a statement saying it received two medical calls for the church. The first call was about a 4-year-old girl who was having trouble breathing. She was sick earlier that week, and her parents thought that she might be suffering symptoms from that illness.
An hour after EMS attended to the child, they were called back to the building because a man started to feel sick. The gentleman said he thought he was suffering from low blood sugar. After the attendees went home, another family reported they were all suffering headaches. The Monroe City Fire Department decided to check the building at that point. Firefighters discovered there were higher levels of CO and evacuated the building.
Later that night, multiple people reported feeling sick and going to Sevier Valley Hospital for treatment. A total of 22 people had to be transported to a hospital with a hyperbaric chamber so they could be treated for CO poisoning. NBC News reported that the church later released a statement saying 49 people were treated for elevated levels of CO.
To make matters worse, Sevier County didn’t have enough ambulances to transport all of the poisoned people and had to call in reinforcements from other agencies. Gunnison Valley Hospital and Piute County EMS helped with the transports. There were other agencies standing by too. The ambulance crews didn’t finish transporting all of the patients until 10 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
The source of the poisoning is still unknown, but the church is investigating the cause.
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