Scene Mitigation - Decontamination Plans

 Decontamination plans should address both ambulatory and non-ambulatory patients including issues of privacy, hypothermia, security and tracking of removed possessions, and age and gender issues which may create resistance to the process and ultimately delay in care.

Selection of a decontamination area may include indoors vs. outdoor environments with their various advantages and disadvantages.

Indoor decontamination showers generally involve 3 stations or areas of disrobing, with the bagging and tagging of contaminated clothing and jewelry for evidence collection and tracking, showering off with soap and water and rinsing then donning clean covering or clothing as available. 

Outdoor Decontamination Area
Advantages:   Disadvantages:
Larger Space   Lacks Privacy
Equipment Access   Cold Water
Air bourne dilution   Weather Dependent
Run off (collection of decon water refer to EPA recommendations in plans)    

 

Indoor Decontamination Area
Advantages:   Disadvantages:
Privacy   Equipment Access
Hot Water   Airbourne Isolation
Environmental Control   Limited Space
    Run off collection and appropriate hazardous waste management

 

Ongoing instruction (verbal and visual) of how and what to do may be necessary with encouragement to continue to move along to expedite the decontamination of others in a mass casualty situation.

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