Patient sprays nurses' station with fire extinguisher, 15 people require treatment

Fifteen people were treated for respiratory issues at Fishersville, Va.-based Augusta Health after a patient sprayed a fire extinguisher into a nurses' station at a nearby mental health hospital, reports The News Virginian.

The incident occurred Wednesday at Staunton, Va.-based Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents, an acute care mental health hospital for patients under 18 operated by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

The mental health facility sent one patient and four staff members experiencing respiratory issues to Augusta Health for treatment. Another 10 people went to the hospital for treatment of their own accord. 

It is not clear what type of fire extinguisher was used or what chemicals it contained. Meghan McGuire, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, said the behavioral hospital is monitoring staff and patients for additional symptoms.

"The safety of our patients and staff are critically important," Ms. McGuire told The News Virginian.

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