The Youssef family, a family of three living in Jerusalem, had a unique idea to beat the Jerusalem winter chill – lighting a charcoal grill inside their apartment.
According to the Hadassah Hospital spokesperson, the family brought the grill indoors to heat the apartment – a strategy that worked initially, as family members fell asleep in the now-cozy apartment. They awoke a couple of hours later to thick smoke, severe dizziness, chest pain and intermittent loss of consciousness.
Family members of the Youssef family escorted them to Hadassah Mount Scopus ER, where doctors used pure oxygen, among other methods, to treat them.
The family survived primarily due to treatment in Hadassah hospital’s hyperbaric chamber, which increased air pressure by 2-3 times normal levels and allows the victims to intake far more oxygen than usual.
Shocking as the incident may be, staff at Hadassah say grill-related smoke inhalation is not uncommon – particularly in poorer areas, where people can’t afford year-round heating solutions.
“It’s important that the public knows that heating a home with a charcoal barbecue can cause carbon-monoxide poisoning,” says Mount Scopus ER Director Dr. Shaden Salameh-Youssef.
Jerusalem’s winter in 2022 was considered especially cold, with winter storm Elpis bringing piles of snow to northern Israel and Jerusalem in late January.