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FRAMINGHAM – For about 10 hours today, April 20, MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham was turning away ambulances and patients to its emergency room.

The City was told the hospital had a “code black.”

SOURCE reached out to MetroWest Medical Center’s spokesperson but no response was received by the time this report published.

Framingham Fire was informed around 3 a.m. that the emergency room at the hospital would not be accepting patients.

The Fire Department and its ambulance service was told the hospital was only open for “cardiac” issues.

The hospital began accepting patients again around 1 p.m. today, according to the fire department.

City administration was told there was a “cyber attack” at both MetroWest Medical Center and st. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, both owned by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare.

According to a MetroWest Medical Center staffer, who wished to remain anonymous,  when a code black is called it means the hospital can not handle anymore patients and the patients currently in the ER could be a risk.

According to a medical website “Code black in hospitals is typically determined by the bed manager and declares that all non-emergency and outpatient procedures be deferred with very few exceptions.”

Framingham Union Hospital could be the latest hospital to have its IT department attacked.

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On May 1, 2021, San Diego-based Scripps Health struggled to restore its IT systems after a cyberattack that has significantly disrupted care, impacted email servers and forced medical personnel to use paper records.Some critical care patients were diverted and the online patient portal was taken offline reported the The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Cyber attacks against hospitals increased during the pandemic.

In September of 2021, Schneck Medical Center in Indiana was hit with a cyberattack that impacted operations, leading the security team to suspend access to all IT applications across the hospital network, according to a posting on the hospital’s website.

In August 2021, ransomware attack crippled the emergency room at Memorial Health System in Marietta, Ohio. The staff moved ER patients to other facilities and diverted all incoming ambulances.

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.