FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Karina Rusk 831-759-1843
Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System Responds to Code Triage
Activates Command Center & Deploys Decontamination Process
SALINAS, CA, JUNE 23, 2017- On Thursday at approximately 6:50am our emergency department received
18 patients suffering from possible insecticide exposure. The patients
were farm workers who arrived to work at a field and complained of physical
symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, and stomach pain.
A supervisor from the agriculture company which employed the workers informed
emergency personnel the possible chemical involved was Methomyl, known
by it’s trade name Lannate. The Emergency Department immediately
called a code triage, activated a command center and deployed a mobile
decontamination trailer (decon trailer). Because of the relatively small
number of patients, it was faster and more efficient to have them go through
a regular shower decon process before being triaged in the emergency room.
Some of the workers exhibited symptoms such as dizziness and nausea.
“We immediately called a Code Triage,” said Jeremy Handland,
RN, Clinical Manager Emergency Department. “We activated our command
center and the staff worked extremely well together to treat the patients
and make sure all of our patients needs were met – from the decontamination
process and treatment to having them be in a comfortable area and having
something to eat.”
The Monterey County Agriculture Commissioner’s Office had people
on hand to interview all of the 18 workers and will be investigating the incident.
Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System is extremely prepared for such
emergency scenarios. The hospital periodically conducts mass casualty
incident (MCI) exercises to perfect the coordination and most effective
processes in major emergencies. The last MCI at SVMHS took place on January
26th. That MCI drill specifically focused on an agricultural chemical
release affecting a school.