Oklahoma Woman Survives Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Warns Others

Sammi Baldwin said last month while cleaning an office space, she was overcome with carbon monoxide but didn’t realize it until it was almost too late. She is sharing her story of survival.

Monday, February 12th 2024, 5:41 pm

By: News 9, Deanne Stein


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During the winter months, carbon monoxide poisoning calls go up. This year, EMSA so far, has responded to 17 carbon monoxide calls in the metro with four people transported to the hospital. One woman, who narrowly survived is sharing her story of survival.

Sammi Baldwin said last month while cleaning an office space, she was overcome with carbon monoxide but didn’t realize it until it was almost too late. “I just knew I was crawling for my life,” Baldwin said.

Listening to the 911 call from January 12, Baldwin says she knows she’s lucky to be alive. On the call, you can hear her gasping and choking for air. “I mean I was seconds away from not being here,” she said. “I could not get any air.”

Baldwin says she was cleaning for several hours when she had a headache and became dizzy. Thinking her blood sugar was low, she said she ate a piece of chocolate, but the symptoms worsened. “I got to the doorway and my legs went numb they went completely paralyzed, I collapsed right at the door,” Baldwin said.

She managed to call 911. “It was the generators during the ice storms, so we had generators going and there was, unfortunately, no airflow,” she said.

According to EMSA, the calls are more prevalent during the winter because people are using more heating sources like generators and space heaters. “It’s very quick, very lethal,” said Colin Roy, district chief with EMSA. “It can kill you pretty quick, most people will find themselves unresponsive before they even realize there's a poisoning atmosphere that they're in.”

Roy says the gas sneaks up on you because it’s odorless, colorless, and tasteless. “Oxygen really doesn't stand a chance against carbon monoxide when it comes to getting on to those red blood cells and passing around the blood to our bodies,” Roy said. “So, their entire body is starting to shut down and the respiratory track is trying to keep up to keep more oxygen going but really they're just breathing in more carbon monoxide.”

What helped Baldwin was crawling to the door, but she still struggled. “I knew I was dying,” she said. “I was okay with that, I wasn't angry or upset, I was just really sad I couldn't say goodbye to my husband or kids.”

Baldwin didn’t have to, she survived when paramedics arrived in time. Now, she wants to warn others. “The fact that I’m still here and I shouldn't be, I know that it was God,” she said. “Life is way too short and it's very precious, I think people take it for granted, wake up and think they're going to be here, you don't know, you never know.”

EMSA says anything that combusts a fuel is going to put out carbon monoxide, even wood-burning fireplaces. So, if you have symptoms of dizziness, headache, trouble breathing, nausea, or vomiting, get outside and call 911.

EMSA also stresses that every home and business should have carbon monoxide detectors. They're available at any hardware store, and many models cost less than $15 or $20.

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