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11/17/12: Update on potential Haz-Mat situation at Emerson Hospital

A patient arrived in the Emerson Hospital Emergency Department tonight at risk for the possible need to be decontaminated. The potentially contaminated area was secured and all patients, visitors and staff are safe. We worked with the Concord Fire Department and the Concord Police Department to implement established procedures in this situation. Five individuals were decontaminated. An analysis of the potentially contaminated substance identified it as road salt, which can cause burning on the skin. Because of the way the patient presented and reported to hospital staff, we were advised by local authorities to follow best practice in a potential Haz-Mat situation. The walk-in triage department in the Emergency Department is now open and we will shortly be accepting ambulance and taking the hospital off divert status.