The Emergency Department (ED) staff conducted HazMat Awareness and Operations training during May in preparation for any unexpected hazardous substance spill during which patients might come to the hospital on their own for care, and for which the ED staff must be prepared.
The goals of the ED in regards to hazardous substance exposure are:
- To protect hospital staff from any significant exposure
- To minimize any additional exposure of the victims to the toxic substances
- To evaluate quickly whether the victim requires critical lifesaving procedures
- To quickly determine the toxic identity and effects of the hazardous materials and provide specific treatment
- To prevent hospital contamination and to protect patients from any significant toxic exposure.
The ED training consisted of three hours of lecture (HazMat Awareness and HazMat Operations), after which the staff, in order to become familiar with the equipment they may have to use when decontaminating a patient, suited up in protective suits, gloves, hood, boots and PAPR (power air purifying respirator). The ED staff will practice setting up the decontamination tent in July.