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Poison from suicide attempt shuts down Florida emergency room, sickens paramedics

The emergency room at a Florida hospital was temporarily shut down Sunday morning after a man who had attempted suicide vomited up poison, sickening three paramedics.

Emergency rescue workers responded to the Coconut Creek home of a man who tried to kill himself by drinking the pesticide malathion at around 1:30 a.m. local time, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. Margate Fire Rescue division chief Dan Booker said they found the man on his front lawn.

As the paramedics transported the man to Northwest Medical Center in nearby Margate, about 14 miles northwest of Fort Lauderdale, he vomited, causing the rescuers "to become dizzy, nauseous" and suffer headaches, according to Booker.

The man was brought into a containment area and the emergency room was closed as a precaution. The vehicle that transported the man to the hospital was put into quarantine.

A hazardous materials team from the Broward Sheriff's Office was called to the scene, and the three paramedics were treated for contamination sickness.

The emergency room was cleared for reopening by the hazmat workers and the Florida Department of Health at 9:00 a.m.

A commercial cleaning firm was working Sunday to decontaminate the emergency vehicle and hospital equipment, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

The man who attempted suicide was conscious and talking later Sunday morning, Booker said.

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