Chemical leak at Saskatoon hospital results in some staff feeling unwell

A hazmat crew cleaned up a chemical leak at Saskatoon's City Hospital on Tuesday morning. (Travis Reddaway/CBC - image credit)
A hazmat crew cleaned up a chemical leak at Saskatoon's City Hospital on Tuesday morning. (Travis Reddaway/CBC - image credit)

A hazmat team was called in after staff at City Hospital in Saskatoon reported a chemical leak.

At about 10:00 a.m. CST, the hospital called a "code brown" — a hazardous material incident — in the endoscopy area, according to the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).

In a release, the Saskatoon Fire Department (SFD) said it's crews determined the chemical spill was in a non-ventilated room and the chemical was identified as a "hospital grade disinfectant" called Rapicide.

A machine used to sterilize medical equipment was leaking the substance, according to SHA.

The hazmat team ventilated the room and cleaned the leaked Rapicide up "into an over pack barrel and then transferred the barrel outside for further disposal."

The leak was fully contained according to SHA.

The SFD said four people were exposed to the chemical, and were checked out by firefighter paramedics with no injuries or illnesses present. A release from SHA hours later said a few of the exposed people experienced minor illness symptoms such as nausea and "generally not feeling well."

SHA said all the workers exposed to the chemical have accessed care and are being monitored.

The emergency room operations were unaffected by the leak according to SHA, and the sterilizing machine is being fixed and expected to be up and running by Wednesday.