So much of our time these days is spent on helping the survivors of school carbon monoxide poisonings, that when a story comes across the internet about one of the survivors of such an event, we notice. In November of 2013, the Montezuma Creek Elementary school was involved in a mass carbon monoxide poisoning.

One of the survivors of that poisoning is a teacher who was recently quoted at length about her experiences during on the day of the carbon monoxide poisoning. See  https://www.ksl.com/?sid=38703368&nid=148&title=utah-teacher-sick-from-co-poisoning-now-takes-precaution Connie Todachinnie says that she is doing well now, but recounts how close to death she and others might have been. Yet, she also says she has a “new normal.”

The story talks about Todachinnie being aireflighted to Salt Lake City, which likely means she was fortunate enough to receive hyperbaric oxygen, which can shut down some of the worst symptoms.

We wish everyone who survived carbon monoxide poisoning would be fine. Yet, despite the rush of relief that comes from surviving such a scare, the reality is that carbon monoxide exposure leaves a devastating wake. Too many doctors treat and release the survivors with no concern about ongoing deficits. While we don’t know for sure, we are guessing that few of the dozens of students who were exposed that day got the benefits of hyperbaric. Thus, that new normal for those kids may include severe behavioral and mood problems. As the treating doctors usually don’t understand the extent of the potential problems, parents don’t understand why their children are different. The new normal for those kids may mean no one is ever quite normal again.

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