Radiation Concerns Close Hospital ER

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Faulty radiation equipment caused a 20-minute closer of a hospital emergency room in Encinitas Saturday, according to officials.

Four San Diego County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrived at the Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas emergency department with what they thought were high radiation levels due to readings on their equipment just after 11 a.m., said Janice Collins, an official with the hospital.

Initially two deputies went to the hospital with radiation concerns and two more were sent shortly after, according to Mike Gibbs City Chief of the Encinitas fire department.

The deputies were isolated once they arrived to the emergency room due to the radiation concerns.

San Diego Hazmat and County Environmental Health officials were called in to access radiation levels at which point the decision was made to close down the emergency room, said Gibbs.

During the closure, Encinitas fire officials setup an outpost outside the hospital to treat any incoming patients, said Collins.

"We held everyone," said Gibbs who added that once the county was able to get correct readings for the deputies the emergency room was reopened.

There's no word on why the equipment gave high radiation readings though Gibbs said it could have be just a coincidence, "There are times when you get faulty readings on equipment and so it does happen from time to time.”

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