One person was hospitalized and three others were sickened by carbon monoxide poisoning from a gas leak at Lifestyles Fitness in Scarborough, OH on April 9. The fitness center located on Pleasant Hill Road has been closed until further notice.

Gym employees called 911 on Sunday morning after they noticed at odd smell. Officials from the Scarborough Fire Department, who responded to the scene shortly after 7:20 a.m., suspect a faulty HVAC system may have been the source of the problem.

In the U.S., there are 430 deaths and about 50,000 Emergency Room visits for carbon monoxide poisoning each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The odorless, colorless gas is found in the fumes of gas ranges, wood or charcoal fires and portable gas-powered equipment such as generators, stoves and lanterns.

Changing the batteries every six months on portable CO detectors located throughout your home is the best way to keep your family members safe. In addition, the CDC advises

  • Don’t use a gas range or oven to heat a home.
  • Don’t leave the motor running on a vehicle that is parked in a garage or other enclosed or partially enclosed space.
  • Don’t run gas-powered engines inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open.
  • Don’t park a running vehicle or other gas-powered machine within 20 feet of an open window.
  • Don’t use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

If you or others are experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning get outside into the fresh air and call 911. Common symptoms of CO poisoning include:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • chest pain
  • confusion.

If you were sickened at a fitness center, you may have the right to sue for compensation. This includes cases of carbon monoxide poisoning and Legionnaires’ disease, which is a kind of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria in warm water.

Under the law, a building owner and the company leasing the building are responsible for what happens to visitors. This is true no matter the age of that person or the previous health of the person. For example, if several people get CO poisoning and all of them were relatively healthy except one, a person over 80 with heart failure, the older person still has a claim for money damages.

PFGE Testing
a microbiologist in the Centers for Disease Control’s Meningitis and Special Pathogens Branch (MSPB), in the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID), was shown here running a Pulsed-field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) analytical test, which is used in the typing of bacterial organisms.

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