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Maeve Bannister

Suspected carbon monoxide poisoning at ice rink

Sixteen ice skaters were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning at Royal Adelaide Hospital. (Roy Vandervegt/AAP PHOTOS)

Several ice hockey players and spectators have been treated in hospital after suffering suspected carbon monoxide poisoning.

A group of 16 people between the ages of 17 and 40 attended Royal Adelaide Hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning after visiting the Ice Arena at Thebarton on Saturday night.

Some of the patients needed oxygen while others were observed. 

All are now in a stable condition and are expected to make a full recovery, Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said.

"Carbon monoxide is a chemical that when it gets into your blood system, it attaches to the haemoglobin (and) means that it's not so easy for the body to carry oxygen around," she told reporters. 

"But it has a very short half-life and that means how long it stays in the body ... is about four to five hours.

"If you were at the Ice Arena last night and you're pregnant, or you're the parent of a very, very young infant, have a health check today."

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, tiredness, nausea and in more severe cases, shortness of breath.

Fire crews attended the arena to investigate the levels of carbon monoxide and determine the cause of the incident.

While levels appear to have reduced, Professor Spurrier said the rink would not be reopened until it was safe for the public.

"The Metropolitan Fire Service along with the arena management are looking into the cause because obviously you don't want it to happen again (but) it may take some days to work it out," she said.

"But the most important thing is that the people that we've seen attending hospital have had relatively low levels (of carbon monoxide), so it must mean that the exposure was relatively low as well."

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