Late-night Hazmat scare at Eastside Medical Center

Late-night Hazmat scare at Eastside Medical Center

Posted: Updated:
SNELLVILLE, Ga. -

A late-night scare for the staff at Eastside Medical Center in Snellville after a man walked in with a package and said he'd come into contact with a suspicious substance inside of the parcel.

The circumstances triggered a quarantine at the medical center, located in the 1700 block of Medical Way, FOX 5's Tacoma Perry reports.

About 12:10 a.m. Monday, Gwinnett County firefighters responded to the report of a possible hazmat situation involving a walk-in patient at the hospital emergency department (ER).  

A man, whose name has not been released, reportedly came to the hospital after opening a package at his home and exposing himself to what he believed to be an unknown, hazardous substance.  He told authorities that he received the package in the mail about a month ago. he said it wasn't until Sunday night that he chose to open it, Gwinnett fire officials said.
 
The man told authorities that he knew he might be at immediate risk and that he needed to get medical attention.

At the Eastside center, staff quickly removed the man to an area just outside of the emergency room entrance.  The staff then alerted a Gwinnett Fire Department ambulance crew that was currently at the hospital.  

The crew, in turn, notified the fire department's hazardous materials response team and additional equipment was dispatched to the scene.  Hazmat technicians performed an initial decon on the man and also tested the substance inside the package.  

The techs deduced that the package did not pose a chemical, biological or radiological threat, Gwinnett Fire officials said.  Further testing indicated that the substance was merely sugar water.

The incident did briefly disrupt patient walk-ins and non-critical ambulance traffic at the ER. This was the case until firefighters and police were able to confirm that the situation did not pose a health threat.

Gwinnett fire says patients who were already in the emergency room and those on patient care floors throughout the hospital were not affected.  The hospital was not evacuated during the incident.

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