Trusts are far better prepared to deal with patients injured in chemical incidents following national training but the design and distribution of chemical protective suits and shelters are still a problem, says research published this week in Emergency Medicine Journal
Birmingham researchers sent a questionnaire to all UK acute hospital and ambulance trusts and organised simulated incidents at two acute trusts in the West Midlands, England.
Research in 1999 showed that most trusts were woefully unprepared to deal with chemical incident patients. Since 2001, The Department of Health has provided them with chemical personal protection equipment (CPPE) made up of a protective suit and an inflatable decontamination shelter and an accompanying training package.
Of the 55 trusts which responded to the new research, all the ambulance trusts had chemical personal protection equipment (CPPE) and 83% had trained staff in its use. Of the responding hospital trusts, 98% had CPPE and 82% had trained staff to use them.
Following the simulated incidents, staff interviewed were critical of the CPPE suits, saying
- they were 'very fiddly and cumbersome to assemble'
- it took trained staff at least 15 minutes to prepare, test and put them on
- when wearing the suits, staff struggled to hear each other even when shouting
- there were frequent battery failures
- the suits had inadequate flexibility at the knees, shoulders and elbows when lifting
- some suits leaked in the foot area
At both hospitals, the process of assembling the shelter took approximately four minutes but at one trust, estates personnel erected the shelter for clinical staff to then prepare it, while at the other trust, clinical staff had to perform both roles and felt overstretched.
Tests showed that staff failed to decontaminate patients adequately and staff Page: 1 2 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Emma Dickinson
BMJ Specialty Journals
. First of its kind report on how children with brain tumors perform at school2
. New survey uncovers how insomnia affects job performance and safety3
. Going to bed late may affect the health, academic performance of college students4
. Late weekend sleep among teens may lead to poor academic performance5
. Smokers given more help to quit since GP performance pay introduced6
. Extra pay does not improve hospital performance7
. Older motorists improve driving performance with physical conditioning8
. UPMC performs first beating heart transplant procedure in the US9
. Teens can perform CPR as well as adults and should be taught from an early age10
. Physicians should be able to review performance rates before release11
. Sex and prenatal hormone exposure affect cognitive performance, Yerkes scientists find