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Exeter Hospital Partially Evacuated After Staff Members Became Ill

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Emergency personnel from around the Seacoast responded to Exeter Hospital Friday, where employee complaints of nausea and dizziness resulted in a partial evacuation. At this time, the cause is unknown.

Between 8 and 9 AM Friday morning, staff members in the hospital's operating room began feeling dizzy and nauseous. The hospital reports that nineteen employees would eventually be treated for symptoms, all of whom worked inside the operating area of the hospital. 

Aerial footage captured this morning shows a row of gurneys outside the hospital's emergency room, where patients were being triaged.

Credit Todd Bookman/NHPR
Numerous ambulances responded to Exeter Hospital, where patients were triaged in the parking lot outside the emergency room.

Debra Vasapolli, a hospital spokesperson, says most of those receiving treatment displayed minor symptoms. While the operating room and emergency department remain closed, other areas of the hospital are open.

“It’s an important message to get out to the people who have family members that are in the hospital, that they are not at risk, that they are safe, and our focus, as always, is the safety and care of our patients,” says Vasapolli,

Six patients were transferred to nearby facilities as a precaution, and new patients in need of emergency care are being diverted to other facilities in the region.

State and local officials are still working to determine a cause. 

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.
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