Quick-Thinking 9-Year-Old Girl Saves Her Family From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Photo: (Photo : PXFuel)

A 9-year-old girl from Massachusetts became a local hero after she saved her family from dying due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Jayline Barbosa Brandão was resting in bed when she heard her father yelling before he lost consciousness.

Her mom, Marcelina Brandão, was already on the floor, passed out from something that was a mystery to the 9-year-old. Before she did anything else, however, she grabbed her father's iPhone and used face recognition to unlock it to call 911.

After the call, Jayline then looked for her 7-year-old sister and both headed out to get more help from their neighbors. They also ensured that their grandmother was out of the house.

Read Also: Cooking With Gas Stoves May Be Harmful to Children's Lungs Due to Nitrogen Dioxide

Source of the Carbon Monoxide

The Brandão family has been using a borrowed generator for three days after a storm cut out their power. They placed the generator in the backyard and only turned it on for a few minutes since it created too much noise.

Marcelina, who has since been hospitalized and gotten her treatment from carbon monoxide poisoning, said that they thought the generator was in a safe place. After speaking with the authorities, she now sees that it was placed too close to their house.

The mother said she started feeling throbbing headaches before she lost consciousness, thinking it was just her migraine acting up. She woke up inside the ambulance with the emergency service crew that assisted her family, thanks to Jayline's call.

Marcelina said that her daughter was smart to call 911 right away knowing she may have been scared to see her mother lying on the floor and witnessing her father collapse as well. Jayline told Boston 25 she tried to stay calm when she reached out for her father's phone.

What To Do In Case of CO2 Poisoning

Brockton Fire Department Chief Brian Nardelli said that the carbon monoxide level at the Brandão house was at 1,000 parts per million (ppm). Per the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), a carbon monoxide level beyond 150 to 220 ppm could cause disorientation and could lead to unconsciousness and death.

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 400 Americans die from unintended carbon monoxide poisoning, and 20,000 end up in the emergency room. Carbon dioxide is an odorless and colorless gas thus it's not easily detected unless there is a CO detector in the house. The detector should also have a working battery so it doesn't stop working.

The CDC also recommends regular maintenance checks for leaks for the house's heating or water heater systems. Any gas appliances must also be serviced at least once a year as a matter of prevention.

Before using any gas equipment, ensure that there is proper ventilation in the area and that the air's general direction is going towards the outdoor part of the house. A generator must ideally set 20 feet away from the window, door, or vent and their house should have a detector.

Most people think that it's safe to let the generator run in the garage or backyard, without accounting for the drafts and vents that would allow carbon monoxide from getting inside. Though generators can be lifesaving during a power emergency, users should be very aware of the risks, which can kill a person in a matter of minutes.

The CPSC also said that not all generators are created equal as there are many different models from various brands that have different features, including lower carbon monoxide emissions. Older models also do not have an automatic shut-off feature that has been proven useful in preventing accidents.

Related Article: Schools to Install Carbon Dioxide Detectors to Reduce COVID-19 Outbreaks

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