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CO Poisoning Scare for Mt. Vernon Grandmother
MT. VERNON (Lu Ann Stoia/Kate Liebers) Not recognizing the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning might have meant death for a Knox County woman and her grandchildren.
Ella Goheen said she was babysitting her three granddaughters Sunday night when she started getting headaches and felt weak. When the children felt ill later that night, Goheen took care of them and went back to bed.
She had not considered the possibility of CO poisoning.
At noon the next day, Goheens grown son discovered them still in bed. He called the gas company and 9-1-1 for an ambulance.
Life is precious, theyre precious. I love them with all my heart, Goheen said. It is the worst feeling in the world to know you and your granddaughters couldnt have gotten up out of bed.
Each year more than 500 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning. In addition, several thousand people are treated in hospital emergency rooms for CO poisoning.
The most common symptoms are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.
CO is a by-product on incomplete combustion. Any fuel-burning device may produce dangerous levels of CO gas. Such devices include fuel-fired furnaces, gas water heaters, generators, fireplaces and wood stoves, gas dryers and charcoal grills.