People in Rochelle Park would not expect a hospital to be a place where they could get hurt. However, a hospital in a nearby state proved to have unsafe conditions for hospital visitors.

Recently, smoke began pouring out of an elevator motor at A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital. A woman who was a visitor at the hospital became trapped inside and had to climb out by herself. After she freed herself, she was taken to another hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

A portion of the hospital was forced to evacuate. The elevator malfunction caused the emergency department to shut down for two hours. In accordance with hospital emergency plans, patients who had to be evacuated were taken to Fox Nursing Home.

It appears that the woman who was stuck inside the elevator will make a full recovery. However, the accident could have been much worse. Even so, she may have to heal emotional scars. Being trapped in an elevator that is filling with smoke would certainly cause anyone to panic.

An investigation into the cause of the elevator malfunction is likely already underway. It is important that the hospital determine exactly what caused the motor to begin smoking so that a situation like this never happens again.

Hospitals and other public places should be safe. When someone is injured because of an establishment's failure to maintain safe conditions, an investigation should be completed in a timely manner. After all, people should be able to visit public places and feel assured that they will not be put in danger.

Source: The Daily Star, "Fox Hospital partially evacuated after elevator incident," May 29, 2012