NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island couple and their two children consider themselves lucky to be alive after a carbon monoxide scare.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, the Cox family, of Lake Grove, is recovering after waking up to their children’s cries.
They rushed to Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson for life-saving hyperbaric oxygen treatment.
“The son started moaning loudly in his sleep and then they went to check on him and couldn’t wake him up and realized something was wrong,” said Hyperbaric Unit Co-Director Dr. Kenneth Kirsch.
Doctors say the family’s near death experience is a lesson. Odorless, colorless carbon monoxide can kill quickly.
“Often we see people they may have a problem with their heating system that they don’t know about or sometimes the heating system is broken and their using generators to generate heat and not ventilating them properly,” Dr. Kirsch said.
The couple believes the poisonous gas leaked in through their gas dryer.
Rob Cartelli, of Outstanding Plumbing in St. James, said it’s important to check a gas dryer’s vent annually to make sure it is unobstructed.
“It would back up the flueway and allow gases to come into the home,” he said.
Cartelli suggested to install a louver to keep creatures out and check that the vent is rigid, not flexible and is free of any cracks.
“When you call somebody in to maybe just take a look at a drippy faucet or something, have a professional look at some of your other equipment while he or she is there,” Cartelli said.
And in all homes, place carbon monoxide detectors on every floor, especially near bedrooms and gas-powered appliances.
The Cox family credits their son with saving their lives.
The family said they’re still investigating why their carbon monoxide detectors didn’t sound, and that they’ll be hard-wiring them into their electrical system so it will never happened again.
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