Madison Correctional inmates, staff member treated following fentanyl exposure

Madison County Correctional Institution (WBNS)

MADISON COUNTY, Ohio — Two inmates from the Madison Correctional Institution and a staff member have been treated and released from Madison Health Hospital following exposure to fentanyl at the facility.

JoEllen Smith, a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, says correctional staff responded to the Transitional Program Unit for a potential hazardous chemical exposure just before 1 p.m. Friday.

A white powdery substance was found, which tested positive for fentanyl.

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Smith says the inmates were still responsive when they were transported to the hospital for treatment.

In an update shortly before 4:45 p.m., Smith said one of the prison staff responding to the incident had begun exhibiting signs of possible exposure. He was transported to Madison Health for medical treatment as a precautionary measure.

The inmates and staff member were released from the hospital Friday evening, Smith said.

Because of the potential danger of the situation, the hospital activated a "Code Yellow" — that is their disaster response mode.

Fentanyl is extremely dangerous. Even the smallest amounts can be deadly, not only to those directly in contact with it, but also to first responders and those nearby.

That requires extra training and extra precautions here at the hospital.

"Hospitals have codes depending on what the emergency is, and today's code for our hospital is a Code Yellow. That would involve our decontamination team,” said Cindy Stout with Madison Health. "They have the proper gear, and they also go through various drills. So we were well prepared for something like this."

The affected area was decontaminated and the inmates were returned to the Transitional Program Unit, Smith said.

In a 2017 inspection report of the facility, inspectors raised concerns over illegal contraband coming into the prison. That was an area marked "in need of improvement."

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