By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, there’s been another deadly case of carbon monoxide poisoning from a portable generator. A little girl is hospitalized, her grandfather is dead, two others in the family barely survived.
It’s Ember Hardy’s 7-th birthday and she’s hospitalized at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with carbon monoxide poisoning.
“I’m scared to death,” says her mother Jeana Eisenhauer. She and her daughter were with her parents at their house in the Poconos. With no electricity after Hurricane Sandy, they hooked up a new portable generator outside the house. “We didn’t smell anything, know anything. We didn’t have the generator far enough away from the house,” Jeana said.
She says it happened fast, her father Lammert Roodhof who died, passed out first, then Jeana said: “I’m doing CPR on dad and mom hits the floor.” Her mom Ann Roodhof survived. All three were treated in a hyperbaric chamber at Penn Medicine. But Ember could be left with brain damage. “It’s beyond devastating. My little girl didn’t deserve this,” said Jeana.
Doctors say they’re seeing a growing number of patients suffering with carbon monoxide poisoning from portable generators. Dr. Fred Henretic a toxicologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia says, “It’s a public health emergency that’s going on now. You can’t see smell, see, taste or smell carbon monoxide, it’s a sneaky poison.”
Doctors say the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, like being light headed can be easily mistaken for something else, anyone using a portable generator needs to be watching for symptoms. And the generator should be at least 25 feet from the house.