LOMA LINDA (CBSLA/AP) — Several floors of Loma Linda University Medical Center were evacuated Thursday afternoon because dozens of people reported feeling sick and nauseated.
Construction crews were using a solvent-based adhesive for routine roof repairs at 10:30 a.m. when the fumes got into the ventilation system. More than 50 people had to be evacuated from the hospital’s emergency room, lobby and operating room because of the odor.
It smelled “kinda like model glue, or something like that. It had a real, like, strong smell to it,” emergency room patient William Ventreska said.
People had reported headaches, blurred vision and nausea, Loma Linda Fire Marshal James Gray said. Most of the people who had been sickened were fine after getting fresh air.
Windows were opened and fans were brought in to help clear the air.
Hospital workers wheeled 38 emergency room patients in their beds to the ER parking lot behind the hospital. Some were rolled out on gurneys to a parking lot and kept under canopies.
In all, 51 patients were moved or relocated, hospital spokesman Herbert Atienza said.
Nine patients were transferred to other hospitals, but not for reasons related to the ventilation problem, Atienza said. He could not specify why they were transferred.
Four patients were relocated to a nearby urgent care facility.