Emergency Health Care System and its Role in National Disasters

Document Type: Original Article

Author

Faculty of Health, University of Bologna, Italy

Abstract

In the present study a few aspects of planning for terrorism events that expose large numbers of people to contamination are discussed. Many issues were considered as an absolute requirement for implementation of NBC response: 1) policy, 2) plan and 3) emergency department response to surge capacity.  Key elements of the healthcare facility response plan include prompt recognition of the incident, staff and facility protection, patient decontamination and triage, medical therapy and coordination with external emergency response and public health agencies.  Controversial aspects include the optimal choice of personnel protective equipment, establishment of patient decontamination procedures, the role of chemical and biological agent detectors and potential environment packs and water treatment systems. Bioterrorism is an event in a civil setting that is equivalent to an epidemic in a medical setting.  This incident usually results in a direct challenge to the medical community.  The medical profession must assume a central role and participate actively in the discussion and planning of strategies in order to influence formulation of policies that will be activated in response to bioterrorism events.   

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