Toxic material accident at hospital
OnAugust 21st, Magog firefighters were called to the CSSS Memphremagog to recover a toxic biomedical product from an autoclave. The outdated product, which is used to sterilise endoscopic equipment, was put into
the autoclave, by mistake, with the biomedical wastes where it is all destroyed at high temperatures. Once the operation was complete and the device’s door was opened, a strong odor overtook some of the hospital’s personnel. The site was then cut off to personnel so that the product could be disposed of safely.
The the poison centre, the product supplier, the Canadian Emergency Centre for the transport of dangerous materials, the
and the Magog fire department were all consulted to guide the tactical team of the CSSSM on how to deal with the emergency.
About twenty firefighters, supervised by the fire captain, participated in the operation which took place in the afternoon of August 21st. To ensure everyone’s safety, a portion of Principale Street was closed to traffic.
The biomedical product was recovered safely and placed in a hermetically sealed container and sent to the
research centre on the site of the CHUS Fleurimont to be destroyed. The firefighters left the site around 6:30 pm.
The CSSSM held a debriefing with its team the following day. An analysis of the situation helped identify preventative measures in order to avoid a similar situation in the future. Another debriefing was held with the Magog fire department. Working together allowed those responsible to carry out an exceptional operation in complete safety for hospital personnel and the neighbouring population.