Welia Health treats students for chlorine exposure

On Thursday, December 2, Ogilvie Public Schools sent an alert to parents at 1:41 p.m. informing them that students in a ninth-grade swimming class had been exposed to excessive chlorine fumes.

First responders from Welia Health Emergency Medical Services, Ogilvie First Responders and Fire Department, North Memorial Ambulance Service and the Mora Area Fire Department responded to the scene at Ogilvie High School to assess and triage for potential exposure injuries. Eleven students were transported to Welia Health in Mora where they were treated and released. Due to HIPAA privacy rules and the ages of the students, no further information will be provided.

“This is what our EMS team prepares and trains for,” CEO Randy Ulseth said of his staff and local emergency personnel’s response. “I am so proud of how they managed this difficult situation.” He added, “I applaud our hospital staff who stepped up to manage the rush of young patients, even as the hospital and emergency room were already at capacity.”

What happens if you have chlorine exposure?

Symptoms of chlorine exposure can develop for up to 24 hours and include:

  • Coughing, could be violent
  • Nausea /Vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Chest pain/congestion
  • Burning pain, redness, or blisters on skin that looks like frostbite
  • Burning sensation on skin, in nose, throat or eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Watery or teary eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Fluid in lungs, called pulmonary edema, could be delayed onset
  • Breathing difficulties – could appear immediately or be delayed depending upon the concentration that was inhaled

If you suspect you’ve been exposed to chlorine and experience any of these symptoms, go to the nearest emergency department or dial 9-1-1.