Posted: Monday, September 2nd 2013 at 11:32am
Hospital ER closes for an hour after Hazmat incident
SNELLVILLE - The emergency room at Eastside Hospital in Snellville was shut down for over an hour Monday morning when a man walked in and told hospital staff he thought he had been exposed to a hazardous substance.
Gwinnett Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge said the staff quickly isolated the man, so he would not expose anyone else in the emergency room to any potential hazards.
The man told the hospital staff he had received a package about a month ago, but he did not open it until Sunday night. He said after he opened the package, he began to experience shortness of breath.
Rutledge said a Gwinnett Hazmat team arrived at the hospital at 12:14 a.m. He said Hazmat technicians were able to perform an initial decon on the man and also tested the substance inside the package. He said monitors revealed that no chemical, biological or radiological threat existed.
He said a final test revealed that the substance was nothing more than dextrose and water, or sugar water.
"We are fortunate that this incident occurred in the early morning hours, when the hospital was less congested and the impact was minimal. Hospital employees reacted appropriately and minimized the threat to staff and patients," said Rutledge.
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