Medical Care - Hospital Care

Decontamination

Decontamination at the hospital facility could require both gross and technical decontamination for multiple or large numbers of patients outstripping the typical single shower head decontamination room of most hospitals. Existing facility infrastructure may be used as discussed previously or alternate sites such as parking decks or portable structures may be utilized. The following slides illustrate a portable accordian-like collapsible tent structure which allows for rapid implementation, privacy, and preheated warm water capability (with the addition of a heating element to existing plumbing) as well as collection of personal clothing and items.

The final slide of this sequence shows the portable showering system deployed in the curtained off ambulance bay of the hospital facility. An existing sprinkler system may be utilized emergently to spray water on patients, however investigating the water temperature and extent of the system may be necessary as some of the ambulance bay overhang systems may also trigger indoor sprinkler areas. Relying on the existing fire/EMS or HazMat teams for decontamination may result in no response or delayed response if they are currently working at the incident site. If mutual aid is requested, depending on resource availability, familiarity with local procedures, equipment, and communications will be important for interoperability and beneficial assistance. Additionally, the previous decontamination challenges of hypothermia, privacy, and evidence collection will need to be included with mutual aid assistance. This can be achieved with local and regional operational level drills and training.

Consideration of water runoff/disposal is a frequent question and involves the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) policies. Planning for the containment or disposal of contaminated water should be included in planning and policy with consultation and involvement with EPA officials.

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