A school in Connecticut dismissed its students early after a Stratford carbon monoxide poisoning scare. The school was initially dismissed early because they thought it was a natural gas leak. The real problem turned out to be a carbon monoxide problem due to a boiler leak.

Carbon monoxide comes from fuel-burning appliances, such as furnaces, boilers, gas stoves, ovens, and portable generators. A car in an attached garage can also cause a carbon monoxide poisoning. The source of the leak in the Stratford carbon monoxide poisoning was pretty clear: a leaky boiler, but it does not make it less scary.

The incident was actually unable to be resolved right away, so school was canceled for the rest of the day. In another school poisoning in which we represent clients, the issue was with ordering a part to repair a pipe. This could take a longer period of time to order and obtain the part to fix the pipe. This may have been the case with the boiler in the Stratford carbon monoxide poisoning. Perhaps a part of the boiler needed to be replaced, or maybe they needed to do further investigation to see what exactly the problem was.

Stratford Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Appliance malfunctions like the heat exchanger on your furnace cracking can cause a carbon monoxide poisoning. In the Stratford carbon monoxide poisoning, the elevated CO levels were due to a boiler leak.

Here’s some information from the Girard, IL school carbon monoxide poisoning, which was much more severe, sending dozens of kids to the hospital, and the other carbon monoxide cases that have occurred in one of our practice areas, Illinois. From a previous blog:

The school poisoning in Bourbonnais is at least the fourth such poisoning in Illinois in the last few years. We represent in excess of 35 people in the litigation around two of these poisonings, the first at the North Mac Middle School in Girard and the second, the Prussing Elementary School in Chicago. The third school poisoning was another Chicago school, the Horace Mann Middle School, where the carbon monoxide alarms warned of the danger and resulted in an earlier evacuation. See https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20151203/south-shore/carbon-monoxide-detected-at-south-side-school-20-kids-treated-officials

The news report said that no injuries were reported in the Stratford carbon monoxide poisoning. It did not mention whether or not carbon monoxide alarms went off. There has been no follow-up report, but it is assumed that everyone is okay and school has probably resumed. Nothing was posted about the incident on the Second Hill Lane Elementary School Facebook page.

It is important to note that, since this happened in an elementary school and there are young kids there, carbon monoxide can have a greater effect in small children. Their bodies are smaller, so it can affect them quicker. There may be neurological and behavioral symptoms that pop up in the two to 40 days following the poisoning. Luckily, this phenomenon, called DNS, is more common in people over the age of 30. However, if students are exhibiting neurological or behavioral symptoms, see a doctor. In all likelihood, the students might be fine, but it wouldn’t hurt to be cautious. For the possible symptoms of DNS, see the below text from another one of our webpages.

This syndrome, sometimes called DNS (for Delayed Neurological Sequelae), can materialize as any neurological or behavioral symptom, including memory loss, confusion, seizures, urinary incontinence, loss of bowel function, disorientation, hallucinations, psychosis and balance and dizziness.

It is important to remain aware in these situations of the possible consequences of a carbon monoxide poisoning. The Stratford carbon monoxide poisoning could have been a lot worse if people had been injured. This illustrates the importance of having carbon monoxide detectors that will hopefully alert people in the building to the problem before people become injured.

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