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Hospital Emergency Department decontaminated

18 April 2006

Tauranga Hospital Emergency Department decontaminated

Tauranga Hospital's Emergency Department ambulance bay was cordoned off for approximately two hours this evening for decontamination of the dangerous herbicide, Paraquat.

At approximately 5pm a man believed to be poisoned by the herbicide was brought in to the emergency department via ambulance. He is currently in a critical condition in isolation, and will be taken to Waikato Hospital via air ambulance later this evening for further treatment.

Fire trucks decontaminated the ambulance bay as a safety precaution to ensure patients and people visiting the hospital were not in any danger of making contact with traces of the herbicide that may have been present as a result of the patient presenting to the emergency department.

Paraquat is a dangerous herbicide, and when ingested can seriously harm or even amount to death. It is a skin irritant, and can be absorbed through the eyes, or cuts in the skin.

Hospital staff treating the patient are taking necessary precautions to ensure their safety and the safety of other patients.

ENDS

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