Hospital air tests return negative result for asbestos

Air testing has returned a negative result for asbestos after dust fell on a patient in the Royal Hobart Hospital’s intensive care unit.

In a statement issued last night, a Health Service spokesman said a small amount of dust fell from a ceiling. A spokesman said:

“Air testing conducted following an incident where a small amount of dust fell from a ceiling onto a patient in the RHH’s ICU yesterday afternoon has returned a negative result for asbestos.”

A spokesman said the incident occurred when a subcontractor working on the roof of the building dropped some ducting, which caused a metal ceiling tile in the ICU to move.

“The patient, who was recovering from surgery, was not conscious at the time of the incident, and was being ventilated and is therefore unlikely to have had any impact from the dust.”

The spokesman said the dust was cleaned from the patient, the patient was moved, and the area was decontaminated.

“The incident is regrettable and an immediate review is under way.”

Asbestos fibres have been discovered at the hospital in two separate incidents in recent weeks.