What Is Carbon Monoxide, Where Does It Come From? Ohio Hampton Inn Hotel Guests Hospitalized

Almost a dozen people were hospitalized on Saturday after breathing in dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide (CO) at a hotel in Ohio.

Police were alerted to a two-year-old girl falling unconscious at the pool of the Hampton Inn in Marysville at around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. People were subsequently evacuated from the hotel and others were also taken ill, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Eleven people—five adults and six children—were hospitalized at Memorial Health Hospital in Marysville, hospital spokesperson Melanie Ziegler told Newsweek on Monday. Seven were taken to the hospital by paramedics, while the others made their own way to the facility.

Two patients who were in a critical condition stabilized and were taken to other facilities, while five in a serious but stable condition were also taken to other facilities, Ziegler said. The remaining four patients were treated and released.

Marysville Police chief Tony Brooks told The Columbus Dispatch two people were treated at the scene.

Marysville Fire Chief Jay Riley told The Columbus Dispatch on Sunday morning that people fell ill because CO was present near the pool area but the source was unclear. He said potential sources had been shut off on Saturday night when the building was evacuated.

Newsweek has contacted Amerilodge Group, which manages the hotel, for comment.

Steve Aldridge, vice president of sales and marketing for the Amerilodge Group, told The Columbus Dispatch: "The Hampton Inn Marysville is investigating this matter and fully cooperating with local authorities."

What is Carbon Monoxide?

CO is an odorless, colorless gas, meaning our senses can't detect it in the air, which is part of the reason it is so dangerous. If inhaled, CO will displace oxygen in the body and cause poisoning.

If a person breathes in a lot of CO they can faint or die.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisonings not linked to fires each year, some 4,000 are hospitalized, and 20,000 visit the emergency room.

Where Does Carbon Monoxide Come From?

CO is produced whenever a fossil fuel is burned, such as by a car or a stove. Other common sources of CO in and around the home include clothes dryers, water heaters, furnaces or boilers, gas or wood burning fireplaces, generators, and power tools.

CO can become a problem if an appliance is not in good working order or installed without the correct ventilation.

The CDC recommends installing a CO detector to prevent poisoning, as well as having appliances serviced yearly.

What Are the Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

CO poisoning symptoms can resemble the flu, meaning people may not seek help if they are exposed. They include dizziness, headache, weakness, an upset stomach, vomiting, confusion, and chest pain.

Those who fall ill can be treated with pure oxygen to remove CO from the blood, either using a mask or in severe cases a pressurized oxygen chamber.

carbon dioxide
A stock image shows a smoke alarm with a carbon monoxide detector. 11 people were hospitalised on Saturday after being exposed to carbon monoxide. Getty Images