Asbestos Scare at Louisiana Hospital

The DeSoto Regional Health System in Mansfield, Louisiana didn’t follow the rules when it came to removing asbestos during a renovation, but thankfully, experts have determined that no asbestos fibers made their way into areas that could have affected patients, staff, or visitors.

According to an article in the Shreveport Times, recent test results secured by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) shows that there were no airborne fibers in a partially renovated area of the hospital; however, the DEQ has noted that DeSoto will probably be reprimanded or fined for violations of abatement procedures.

The article notes that the hospital did not follow “proper notification and removal regulations”. It is not yet clear how the situation will be handled by the DEQ. Possible reprimands include the issuance of a notice of deficiency, requiring a response from hospital officials on why they did what they did and how it can be prevented in the future. On the more severe end of the spectrum, DeSoto may receive a notice of potential penalty and compliance order.

DEQ regional manager Otis Randle will meet with hospital officials next week to determine how to proceed.

“We want them to understand what they did was contrary to the regulations and we expect them to do better next time,” Randle said, noting that he is “very satisfied” there was no major release of dangerous asbestos fibers in the hospital.

“Because I have yet to receive, much less review, the DEQ report, I really cannot comment other than to say we will do whatever is required to proceed in what is in the best interest of our patients, their families, the community, our physicians and staff,” John Domansky, DeSoto Regional’s interim CEO/CFO, told The Times.

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