(KUTV) Carbon monoxide is known as an invisible killer because it’s a gas you can’t see nor smell. For a baby who was just five days old, a unique treatment helped save her life. Heidi Hatch tells her story.
“She was born in January 4th of this year,” says Bethany Taylor, Baby Jane’s Mother.
After giving birth to a healthy baby girl, Bethany Taylor says something wasn’t right during their second night at home.
“At some point during the night, my husband and his mom were talking about how they both had headaches,” says Bethany.
Her mother-in-law got to the point where she was nauseous and throwing up. In addition to their symptoms, they also noticed Baby Jane wasn’t responding well to sounds, lights, or wanting to feed – which is not normal for a newborn.
“As the day went on she was really, really sleepy and not very responsive,” says Bethany.
Worried about the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning, they called poison control who sent them immediately to the emergency room.
“Neonates or newborns have reflexes that we don’t have as adults. We didn’t see that with this young lady, and that concerned me greatly,” says Dr. James Stewart with Intermountain Utah Valley Hyperbaric & Wound Care Center.
A blood test confirmed carbon monoxide poisoning and the ER doctor recognized right away that a hyperbaric chamber would be the best treatment.
“When they told me we have a treatment that’s going to work really well, it was such a relief to me to know that she was going to be okay,” says Bethany.
Hyperbaric chambers deliver highly concentrated oxygen at high pressure. Dr. Stewart says it’s not something that is frequently done on 5-day-old babies. Both mom and baby underwent three, two hour sessions in the chamber.
“Utilizing three treatments decreases the long-term after effects of carbon monoxide poisoning very significantly,” says Dr. Stewart.
After just one session there was already a noticeable difference. Baby Jane was hungry and responding to her environment.
“I never thought I’d be so grateful to hear a baby cry,” says Bethany.