Family of 5 poisoned by faulty gas heater

A FAMILY had a lucky escape last weekend as they were minutes from death. Five members of the family suffered carbon monoxide poisoning in their home in Palma as a result of a faulty gas water heater. The victims, a man of 78 years, his wife (75), his son (36) and two children (two and five years old) were taken to Son Espases hospital late in the evening last Friday.

They were then transferred to Clinica Juaneda where they were successfully treated in a hyperbaric chamber. The family first noticed there was something wrong when the woman began to suffer from a headache, nausea and vomiting.

Her husband also developed these symptoms and then lost consciousness which is when an ambulance was called.

It was discovered by the emergency team that the gas water heater was not working properly as a result of weather damage from high winds and low temperatures.

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas, but as it is colourless, odourless, tasteless and non-irritating it is very difficult to detect.

It is often produced in older domestic and industrial machinery.

Symptoms of mild acute poisoning include headaches, vertigo, and flu-like effects; larger exposures can lead to significant toxicity of the central nervous system and heart, and even death.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is the most common type of fatal poisoning in many countries.

Domestic carbon monoxide poisoning can be prevented by early detection with the use of household carbon monoxide detectors.

It is possible to purchase dual smoke and carbon monoxide gas detectors from local hardware stores.



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