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Carbon Monoxide - Multiple Patients Experience Symptoms

For immediate release: February 19, 2020 - 10:40am

At approximately 9:19 a.m. on February 19, 2020, the Saskatoon Fire Department responded to a home in the 300 block of Avenue T North for reports of multiple occupants feeling unwell and the carbon monoxide alarm sounding; one patient was described as unconscious while two others were experiencing symptoms of nausea and dizziness. One fire engine was dispatched and arrived on scene in less than four minutes. 

Upon arrival, firefighters used equipment capable of reading carbon monoxide levels to receive a reading of over 100 parts-per-million (PPM) at the doorway. Fire dispatchers immediately requested the response of an energy provider while fire crews performed searches of the home to ensure all occupants were removed from the dangerous environment; fire crews were required to breach one interior door to confirm that no occupants remained inside. While searching the home, additional readings of 160 PPM and 190 PPM were received.

Firefighter-paramedics used a non-invasive medical assessment tool on scene to measure the carboxyhemoglobin level in the blood of the three patients before continuing medical care while enroute to the hospital in the ambulance.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, and tasteless gas. Symptoms resulting from prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide include headache, fatigue, confusion, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. When undetected and left untreated, carbon monoxide can result in permanent injury or death. In an emergency, seconds count; a functioning carbon monoxide alarm can be the difference in preventing a tragedy in your home.