HAZMAT crews respond to incident at Nebraska hospital

Emergency crews were called to CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center-Bergan Mercy in Omaha, Neb., Feb. 3 after healthcare staff noticed a strong smell and became light-headed while treating a critical patient, according to a report from ABC affiliate KETV

Omaha Fire Department officials told the news outlet HAZMAT crews responded after staff in the hospital's emergency department reported a strong smell while treating a patient who needed CPR. Some staff had a "physical reaction" to the smell, which raised concerns of a possible chemical exposure, according to the report. 

HAZMAT crews responded, shutting off ventilation systems and checking the emergency room. The patient and about 10 staff members who crews believed could have been exposed were confined to a single room, fire officials told the news outlet. Ambulances with critical patients were temporarily rerouted to Nebraska Medical Center during the incident. 

The fire department did not detect any chemical exposure and gave hospital staff the all-clear. Healthcare staff called fire crews back shortly after when the smell returned. They did not find an issue the second time, but said it may have been related to a mechanical issue in the hospital. 

In a statement to the news outlet, CHI Health said the room where the smell was detected will remain closed out of an abundance of caution. 

Becker's has reached out to CHI Health and will update the report if more information becomes available. 

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