February 27, 2018

Middlesex Hospital uses temporary ER in wake of crash

PHOTO | Middlesex Hospital
PHOTO | Middlesex Hospital
Middlesex Hospital in Middletown has opened a temporary ER in its outpatient surgical services area.

Middletown's Middlesex Hospital said it has opened a temporary emergency department in response to last week's car crash and fire.

Middlesex opened the temporary ER in its outpatient surgical services area on Friday at 4 p.m., less than 48 hours after the incident occurred. The facility is still only accepting walk-in patients at this time. It is not receiving patients by ambulance.

Last Thursday, Middletown resident Steven Ellam crashed his vehicle into the hospital's emergency room entrance before exiting the car and lighting himself on fire.

In addition to ensuring the safety of all patients and staff, the hospital worked quickly to solve problems and began cleanup efforts at its main emergency department, the hospital said.

The hospital says it treated 12 patients in the temporary ER Friday, and another 103 over the weekend.

The normal location of the Emergency Department remains closed until further notice, a spokesperson said Tuesday.

In addition to the shattered front entrance, water and smoke damaged roughly about 90 percent of the space's walls. As a result, the hospital said it is in the process of removing the damaged walls, replacing them and restoring the space.

Despite the damage, the structure remains physically sound. Emergency Department equipment has been removed from the area and is being cleaned for future use, the hospital said.

To ensure continued and future safety at other Middlesex Hospital locations in the wake of the incident, concrete barriers were installed Friday in front of Emergency Department entrances in Middletown, and on Monday at the hospital's locations in Marlborough and Westbrook. The hospital said it is assessing whether barriers are needed at other Middlesex facilities.

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