Decon Article - CBRNE Chemical Decontamination Author...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
CBRNE - Chemical Decontamination Author: Liudvikas Jagminas, MD, Physician-in-Chief of Emergency Medicine, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Brown Medical School, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island Contributor Information and Disclosures Updated: Jul 24, 2008 Introduction Emergency departments (EDs) and emergency medical services (EMS) are responsible for managing potential chemical disasters, whether they result from industrial accidents or terrorist activities. In recognition of this responsibility, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require EDs to prepare for hazardous material incidents. In treating patients with chemical exposures, decontamination is of primary importance provided the patient does not require immediate life-saving interventions. Any plan must include contingencies for contamination sources within the hospital and for ED evacuation. The determination of a workable hazardous materials plan requires careful thought and often professional input from medical toxicologists, hazardous materials teams, and industrial hygiene and safety officers. Using a patient decontamination plan implemented without specific adaptation to the hospital and without practice can result in undesirable outcomes. Legal requirements apply to hospital-based decontamination. All EDs incorporated in an emergency response plan for hazardous materials incidents must meet OSHA requirements (29 CFR 1910.120[q]) for both staff training and response to hazardous materials, because they likely will be presented with a chemically exposed patient who has not been decontaminated at the scene. Under these regulations, emergency medical personnel who may decontaminate victims exposed to a hazardous substance should be trained at a minimum to the first-responder operational level. For response to an unknown hazard, OSHA regulations require level B protection, which includes a positive-pressure self-contained breathing apparatus and splash-protective chemical- resistant clothing. For more information, see Medscape’s Disaster Preparedness and Aftermath Resource Center . Purpose of Chemical Decontamination Chemical decontamination has 2 primary goals. First, decontamination helps prevent further harm to the patient from the chemical exposure. Methods of patient decontamination include chemical dilution and chemical inactivation. Second, decontamination helps protect health care providers and maintains the viability of the ED as a treatment center. Mismanagement may result in illness in health care providers and contamination of the ED; severe ED contamination may necessitate departmental closure, which is potentially catastrophic in a mass casualty incident.
Image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern