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Suicide Attempt Sickens 3 Fla. Medics, Contaminates E.R.

MARGATE, Fla. -- A Florida hospital emergency room was shut down Sunday when three firefighters became ill after rescuing a man who ingested a pesticide, officials said.

Paramedics were sent to the man's home after receiving a report that he had tried to kill himself by drinking malathion, a common pesticide, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

While treating the man on the way to the hospital, he vomited, causing three of his rescuers "to become dizzy, nauseous and getting headaches," said Margate Fire Rescue division chief Dan Booker.

At the Northwest Medical Center, the man was held in a contamination area outside the emergency room, which was shut off to the public as a precaution.

The hospital said the emergency room was cleaned and reopened.

"We continue to evaluate the situation and our first and foremost priority as always remains the safety of our patients, staff and community partners," the hospital said in the statement.

The patient, described as a Spanish-speaking man in his 30s or 40s, was conscious and speaking, Booker said.

"It's a mess," said Booker. "This guy took up a lot of assets. But he is not out of the woods yet."



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