Bag of white powder prompts hazmat response at The Miriam Hospital


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The emergency room at The Miriam Hospital in Providence has started accepting patients again following a brief hazmat situation Wednesday morning.

Emergency crews rushed over to the hospital around 7:45 a.m. for a report of possible fentanyl exposure.

Assistant Fire Chief Brian Mahoney said hospital employees made the call out of an abundance of caution after a small plastic bag containing an unknown white powder was found on an ER patient and some of it spilled out.

The substance was initially thought to be fentanyl but it’s since tested negative for the powerful painkiller, according to Mahoney.

Dr. Dean Roye, Miriam’s chief medical officer, said the patient was isolated and hospital workers were given special masks to prevent exposure.

Any incoming ER patients were diverted during this time while those already in the hospital continued to be treated, Dr. Roye said.

A spokesperson for the hospital tells Eyewitness News the diversion ended around 9:30 a.m.

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