Sydney family poisoned by carbon monoxide after barbecue

Six family members were taken to the hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, and authorities blame them for choosing the heater.

Six people were taken to the hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning after they reportedly tried to use a barbecue to heat their grandmother’s apartment.

Two children and four adults were taken by paramedics to the Merrilands home in western Sydney just before 4:15 am Tuesday, after which they were rushed to the hospital.

The group is understood as related.

Four teams of paramedics and an ambulance inspector from New South Wales arrived on the scene.

Four adults were taken to Westmead Hospital and two male children were taken to Westmead Children’s Hospital.

NSW Ambulance said all patients are in stable condition.

“All patients suffered from nausea and signs of drowsiness consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning,” said New South Wales Ambulance Inspector Andrew McAlpine.

“Fortunately, one person was knowledgeable enough to call Triple Zero, averting a possible tragedy.”

“In this cold weather, it’s so important to follow the public messages about staying safe, keeping warm and having alarm systems working.”

Long-term exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal and also poses a threat to first responders arriving on the scene, NSW Special Operations Ambulance Officer Markus Hunziker said earlier.

“There are significant dangers when it comes to this kind of work, where not only patients but also emergency services can be at risk,” Mr. Hunziker said.

“While the symptoms may be similar to the common cold, it can be deadly if exposure continues for too long.

“Carbon monoxide begins to replace the oxygen in the body that we all need to function, with prolonged exposure, symptoms can worsen and patients may experience increased shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, loss of consciousness and, in the worst case, even death.”

Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless and can cause illness or death in people and animals in enclosed spaces.

Red blood cells capture carbon monoxide faster than oxygen, so if there is a lot of carbon monoxide in the air, the body can replace the oxygen in the blood with it.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be difficult to detect because the symptoms can be confused with fatigue, a cold, or the flu, but no fever symptoms.

People who suspect carbon monoxide poisoning should leave the area immediately and get outside for fresh air.

Originally published as Six people were hospitalized after they heated the apartment of the grandmother’s barbecue