A family is in critical condition after being exposed to carbon monoxide in their Fort Washington, Md. home. Authorities are urging people to install a working carbon monoxide alarm to help alert them to the presence of the odorless gas.
Update Feb. 8, 9:45 a.m.: Police say a faulty natural gas furnace was the source of a carbon monoxide gas leak which put six family members from Fort Washington in the hospital this week.
Health authorities say they found approximately 450 parts per million of carbon monoxide in the home where the two adults and four children were overcome. That’s extraordinarily higher than the 5 parts per million level considered unhealthy.
Update 4:30 p.m.: Six members of Fort Washington family are recovering Tuesday after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning early this morning, prompting emergency officials to once again warning about the "silent killer."
The two adults and four children never saw it coming, even after one family member, an infant, was taken to the hospital suffering from apparent seizures. Doctors found the infant was suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, and alerted EMTs who rushed to the home and found the rest of the family unconscious.
Mark Brady, spokesperson with Prince George’s Fire, responds to these incidents each year about this time. Brady says one reason the gas is hard to detect is because people exposed to CO might think they’re just coming down with a seasonal illness.
"The initial symptoms include flu like symptoms, where you could be nauseous dizzy or having a headache," says Brady. "If the exposure is prolonged things will get worse with chest pains, vomiting, and eventually disorientation, and that will lead to unconsciousnes."
Brady reminds residents to install a CO detector and have gas appliances inspected regularly.
Original Story: A family in Fort Washington, Md. is fighting for their lives after being exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, according to Prince George's County Fire Department officials.
A mother and father and three children, including an infant, were found unconscious in their home by firefighters on the 8300 block of Bernard Drive around 12:30 a.m. They were initially treated on the scene, but all had to be taken to an area hospital in critical condition and placed in a hyperbaric chamber.
Firefighters were tipped off by doctors at Children's National Medical Center last night because they were treating another child who also lived in that same home and discovered the young patient had high levels of carbon monoxide in the blood.
Calls to the home were not returned and that's when hospital personnel contacted the fire department. Firefighters believe a faulty furnace may have been responsible for the deadly fumes that flooded the home, poisoning the air with odorless carbon monoxide.
This carbon monoxide incident is the latest of several that have occured in recent weeks.