Malfunctioning boiler releases chemical at Park City hospital
March 20, 2012
A malfunction in a boiler at the Park City Medical Center released a chemical at the hospital early on Saturday, resulting in staffers moving patients to another part of the hospital as a precaution.
Nobody was injured or in danger, the hospital said in a prepared statement. A hospital spokesperson said 17 patients were moved from rooms on the second floor to the emergency department on the first floor. The move put them farther away from the chemical exposure, the spokesperson said.
According to the prepared statement, staffers at the hospital smelled an odor at a little after midnight. It was found that a chemical called cyclohexylamine had been released. The hospital said the chemical is commonly used to protect air ducts from bacteria and as an anti-corrosive.
A nurse alerted a maintenance crew at the hospital, which then contacted a hazardous-materials team of the Park City Fire District. The Utah National Guard was also called to the scene for tests using sophisticated equipment.
"While we whole-heartedly regret the inconvenience, we believe moving our patients to another area of the hospital was the appropriate thing to do," the CEO of the hospital, Rob Allen, said in the prepared statement.
He said the hospital’s emergency procedures were followed.
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The hospital said a valve malfunction in a boiler caused the chemical to be released. The boiler was quickly shut down and the problem did not impact the hospital’s two other boilers, the hospital said.
According to the prepared statement, cyclohexylamine can cause nausea, vomiting, respiratory distress and irritation of the skin.