Patient causes hazmat scare at Snellville hospital

6:45 AM, Sep 2, 2013   |    comments
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SNELLVILLE, Ga. -- A walk-in patient caused a brief hazmat scare at Eastside Medical Center in Gwinnett County Monday morning.

The patient arrived at the Snellville hospital's emergency room at around midnight.

Gwinnett County Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge said the man told hospital officials he opened a package at his home and believed it exposed him to hazardous material.

A Gwinnett hazmat crew arrived at the hospital to perform an initial decontamination on the patient and test the substance inside the package.

The mystery substance turned out to be sugar water, Rutledge said.

Fire officials declared the material harmless shortly before 1:30 a.m. The hospital operated as normal while the hazmat crew investigated.

"We are fortunate that this incident occurred in the early morning hours when the hospital was less congested and the impact was minimal," Rutledge said. "Hospital employees reacted appropriately and minimized the threat to staff and patients."

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