Odor sickens staffers, closes operating room at UVM Medical Center campus

A smell that left several staff members feeling "sick to their stomach" resulted in the shutting down of the operating room at University of Vermont Medical Center's Fanny Allen campus in Colchester last week, according to a VT Digger report.

About 1 p.m. on Oct. 9, staff reported an odor that smelled like exhaust or fumes, Dawn LeBaron, vice president for hospital services, told the digital publication. Seventeen staff members felt sick and went to the urgent care facility on campus for treatment. The operating room was shut down, but no surgeries were affected, Ms. LeBaron said.

The operating room reopened the next day.

The source of the odor remains unknown. The Colchester Fire Department came in to test for carbon monoxide but said it did not detect any. There is also no exhaust near the affected operating room or any other operating rooms on the Fanny Allen campus.

The hospital checked the air system and changed filters in all its operating rooms on Oct. 10. Carbon monoxide detectors were installed in all operating rooms in the hospital.

"We have tried to figure out any other sources that might be the culprit and so far, it’s a puzzle," Ms. LeBaron told VT Digger.

The hospital did not respond to Becker's Hospital Review's queries for more details.



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