Safety

Hospital closes ER after faulty radiation reading

Hospital Safety Insider, July 21, 2011

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Scripps Memorial Hospital in Encinitas, CA, had quite the impromptu drill after a wrongly calibrated dosimeter—a device used to detect radiation levels—was brought to the hospital.

A deputy sheriff, concerned his device was reading high levels of radiation, brought it to the hospital on the suggestion of the local fire station, where he first went. Once there, staff who were concerned the officer had been exposed to radiation isolated him and others he had been in contact with. They then began their emergency response plan, including closing the ER, calling the fire department, hazardous materials crew, and country environmental health officials.

Patients and visitors were not evacuated but were held until it was clear they were not exposed to radiation.

The hazardous materials crew concluded that the dosimeter, which was reading 800 rems—760 rems above the normal range—had been calibrated incorrectly.

Source: Sign On San Diego



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