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St. Mary's ER reopens after hazmat situation

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Albany/HV: St. Mary's ER reopens after hazmat situation
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The emergency room at St. Mary's Healthcare in Amsterdam was reopened on Tuesday after a hazmat situation on Monday. YNN's Megan Cruz has the latest.

AMSTERDAM, N.Y. -- The aftermath of a scare at St. Mary's Hospital on Monday continues on Tuesday morning. Hazmat teams threw out scrubs, linens, and anything else that came in contact with a woman who brought a dangerous substance into the emergency room.

According to hospital officials, the substance was similar insecticide.

"Was a mixture, so hasn't been totally identified, but we do know one of the base products is an insecticide," explained Jerri Cortese, St. Mary's Healthcare Director of Community Relations.

Amsterdam Police said the woman was a 37-year-old city resident. Cortese explained she had ingested the toxic cocktail, and was brought to the emergency room by ambulance. She added the patient was vomiting violently.

Cortese said, "The substance as I understand it, is not transmitted through an airborne quality. It has to be in contact with the skin or ingested for it to have any impact on you."

Hospital officials said all patients, staff, and visitors who had been evacuated were all okay.

"Once we knew what the substance was, we were able to provide appropriate treatment, more appropriate treatment for the patient," said Cortese about the woman.

Due to patient confidentiality, Cortese said she could say no more about the patient's condition. Sources familiar with this incident tell YNN it was a suicide attempt.

"The hospital has to say absolutely nothing. It's a matter of patient confidentiality," added Cortese.

Detective Lieutenant Kurt Conroy with the Amsterdam Police Department would only say they are not conducting a criminal investigation.

Cheryl Straight was at St. Mary's on Tuesday for an MRI. She said Monday's incident did have her worried.

She said, "But once I got in there, everyone was relaxed, like nothing was going on, and I was well taken care of."

"We have no concerns about treating patients at this time," added Cortese.

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