A man walked into the emergency room at Eastside Medical Center in Snellville early Labor Day after being exposed to an unknown material from a piece of mail he opened.
The Gwinnett County Fire Department deemed that the material was not hazardous and the man nor anyone in the hospital was not affected by it, though.
According to a news release from Gwinnett Fire spokesman Capt. Tommy Rutledge, the man told authorities that he had received the package a month ago but had just opened it that night. Hospital employees immediately isolated the man outside the ER entrance.
The fire department's hazardous materials response team arrived on scene at 12:14 a.m. Monday (Sept. 2) and performed an initial decon on the man and tested the substance inside the package. Further testing indicated that the substance was dextrose and water (sugar water), Rutledge said.
Patient walk-ins and non-critical ambulance traffic were interrupted until the situation was over, but no evacuations were necessary. An ambulance was staged at the hospital entrance to handle any emergent walk-ins, but none were reported.
"We are fortunate that this incident occurred in the early morning hours, when the hospital was less congested and the impact was minimal. Hospital employees reacted appropriately and minimized the threat to staff and patients," Rutledge continued.
Equipment at the scene included: 1 engine, 1 squad, 1 hazmat team, 1 battalion chief, 1 medic unit and 1 PIO.