HazMat/decontamination response with complicated communication

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Scenario overview The decontamination team/unit in ED has been activated by EMS for an incoming patient. EMS responded to an apartment for an “unknown medical emergency.” Upon arrival, they found a 20-year-old man who is only responsive to pain. EMS immediately assessed and evacuated the patient from the scene and transported him to the hospital where he seemed more alert and more agitated. The patient's apartment had a small amount of furniture (couch, mattress, table, folding chairs and an old TV) and assorted chemicals. The police, fire department and hazardous materials unit were notified and a quick decontamination of the patient was done in the field. Due to the unknown source of exposure and the patient's critical condition, immediate transportation to the hospital was initiated with secondary decontamination upon arrival. The patient arrives in respiratory distress, responsive to voice, with tearing eyes and blistering necrotic ulcers on his skin and areas of erythema on his chest, neck and arms. At this point he is agitated and screaming in discomfort. During the encounter, the patient's cardiac and respiratory status quickly decompensates necessitating intubation. During the case, the clinical providers are dressed in HazMat gear and have earpieces in their ears connected to two-way radios on their waists. Siren sounds and “scene” noise is played through the two-way radios. At times, important dispatch information that may be useful to the team is transmitted through the two-way radios. The two-way radios serve two purposes: the first is to create an additional challenge related to communication. The second is to provide information about the causative agent.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSimwars Simulation Case Book
Subtitle of host publicationEmergency Medicine
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781107111011
ISBN (Print)9781107625280
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


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