Date of Award

5-1-2007

Degree Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health

Department

School of Public Health

First Advisor

Terry Gratton

Second Advisor

Lilly Ramphal

Third Advisor

Michael Larranaga

Abstract

Hood, Joyce L., Evaluation of a Hospital Decontamination Protocol for Mass Casualty Patient Surge. Master of Public Health (Occupational Health Practice), May 2007, 43 pp., 3 tables, 10 illustrations, references, 25 titles. Recent studies have expressed concern about hospitals’ ability to decontaminate casualties who have been contaminated with chemical, biological or radioactive agents. Since September 11, 2001, more attention has focused on hospital preparedness, but prior to 9/11, most of the focus was on decontamination in the field rather than pre-hospital. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of two urban hospitals’ decontamination teams using quantitative methods. Subjects were contaminated with equal amounts of visible and invisible simulants in six locations. Residual contamination was measured and the team was debriefed regarding opportunities for improvement. Considerable improvements were noted after de-briefing, but initially the surface area of contamination was not appreciably affected before briefing was done. The effect of shower time and residual contamination was also examined. Hospital decontamination preparedness is minimal at best, even in large urban hospitals, increasing the risk of secondary contamination within the emergency departments.

Comments

Hood, Joyce L., Evaluation of a Hospital Decontamination Protocol for Mass Casualty Patient Surge. Master of Public Health (Occupational Health Practice), May 2007, 43 pp., 3 tables, 10 illustrations, references, 25 titles. W 4.5 H776E 2007

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