HazMat emergency response provides medical emergency services like first aid. They also specialize in standards and regulations such as HazWOPER. However, the two concepts may not be discussed simultaneously since the urgency of first aids tends to contradict the steps to be followed in hazwoper (Burgess, et.al., 1999). The majority of employees in different organizations have been exposed to risk emanating from accidents in the workplaces.
The magnitude of the problem was the first key point presented in the article. It is reported that in the second half of 2009 six states reported more than one thousand cases of hazmat emergencies with approximately more than three hundred victims and over ten fatalities (Crichton & Flin, 2001). Just like the first half of the year, fixed and manufacturing facilities recorded the highest number of cases, in particular among the employees.
HazMat victim decontamination is another key point, which was considered in the article. The remediation started a long time ago when NFPA 472 was introduced and later replaced with NFPA 471 which took a better time of its decontamination process in developing standardized procedures to control entry and exit a platform linking the operational areas and specific hot zones (Gurderson, Helkson, & Heffner, 2014). This decontamination was categorized into five primary aspects, which included the emergency decomposition which is the physical process of immediately reducing contamination of individuals in life threatening situations due to exposure to harmful products. This is the main agenda performed by emergency responders who assist employees until specialized medical practitioners arrive and take charge of the situation.
Hazmat victim care is another key point, which was considered in the article. The aspects hospitals and emergency medical services were considered chronologically as they provided a major understanding of the hazmat emergencies about what is required by responders of higher levels. The hospital was one of the factors considered, as it is a center stage when it comes to emergency services (Gurderson, Helkson, & Heffner, 2014). The researchers found this hospital crucial for consideration since physician review of victims is the standard exposure in hazmat. One critical issue about the hospital was secondary contamination, which occurs when medical personnel, patients or property are exposed to hazardous waste due to improper decontamination of materials or victims transported to the hospital.
Emergency medical services is another hazmat victim care considered in the article. Cases of ambulance contamination were highlighted as that was abundantly reported in several states. The authors have cited instances where the emergency responders have refused to enter the emergency facilities since they felt not confident about the situation at hand (Levitin, & Siegelson, 1996). Workplace emergency response was another factor considered under hazmat victim care. First aid training is one workplace emergency which needs to be considered as it will help personnel to decontaminate victims efficiently and save them from further contamination. Cardiac chain of survival was also examined since it was reported that majority of the Hazmat emergencies and hazmat victims reported cases of cardiac complications and this was further considered useful through a cardiac chain of survival comparisons with cardiac emergencies.
Hazmat victim chain of survival was the last critical issue discussed. Under hazmat victim chain several factors were considered which included early notification of the emergency medical services (EMS) among others. The aim was to prevent delays in the decontamination. The article also majored on first scene control and Hazmat characterization, which will prevent entry of unauthorized employees into the scene hence preventing possible contamination due to exposure (Thomas & Walter, 2008).
The elements of a robust response emergency program were also looked at in the article. These included hardware, which needs to be regularly tested, maintained and inspected repeatedly. Information was also considered as a major component of the solid response emergencies as it was established that safety of data was essential in ensuring proper handling of the decontamination processes. Proper procedures for highly hazardous materials also needed to be properly maintained in the databases and files kept safely. Internal and external communications were also critical when it comes to solid response emergencies as it argued that summoning worker place respondents were key when it comes to the provision of emergency services. For external communications, physical address was also key when it comes to the conveyance of information outside the workplace. Employees should know the addresses or it should be displayed on the walls for easy retrieval when needed. Coordinating with the EMS upon arrival and training of the workplace was also mentioned among the methods of solid response emergencies (Thomas & Walter, 2008).
Proper decontamination of the victims is critical since it helps to reduce the risk of losing life due to exposure to hazardous waste. It also contributes to preventing other members from dangers posed by the mishandling of those risk materials (Thomas & Walter, 2008).Proper decontamination ensures that the patient is out of danger and ensure that the situation is rooted out completely.
In conclusion, the article shows that there should be a proper management of emergency response systems, which will assist in controlling effects of contamination. Decontamination was a key point of discussion since the management was mainly to avoid causes of disease. The solid responses of emergencies included information and hardware, which improves the emergence of responders to any case.
Burgess, J. L., Kirk, M., Borron, S. W., & Cisek, J. (1999). Emergency department hazardous materials protocol for contaminated patients. Annals of emergency medicine, 34(2), 205-212.Crichton, M., & Flin, R. (2001). Training for emergency management: tactical decision games. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 88(2), 255-266.
Gurderson, Helkson, & Heffner,. (2014). Hazmat Emergency: Decontamination and Victim Chain Survival. Hazmat Emergency:, 22(12), 67.
Levitin, H. W., & Siegelson, H. J. (1996). Hazardous materials: disaster medical planning and response. Emergency medicine clinics of North America, 14(2), 327-348.Thomas, R. G., & Walter, F. G. (2008). Hazardous materials (HAZMAT) emergencies. Toxico Terrorism. McGraw Hill, New York, 171-178.
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