So a patient comes to ED after white powder thrown is at them what do you do? Your initial response can help them and everyone in the department!
- Ask them to leave the department
- Going to garage was useful
- Inform Nurse in Charge and Consultant
- Dynamic risk assessment
- Performed by nursing/medical staff while outside
- Non-caustic chemicals: Dry decontamination
- Caustic, Biological, Radiological: Wet decontamination
- Retain clothing and wipes, double bagged as evidence/disposal
- Return to ED
If you haven’t seen the Initial Operational Response (IOR) training video please watch it.
The patient can then be thoroughly assesses, to identify the substance involved (this may involve witnesses, police info and symptomatology), and treated appropriately.
Police should be informed of the incident for several reasons: 1. Public safety, 2. To collect the evidence and possible find out what it was for you. (if this is not a criminal act Public health England can advise on return/disposal of personal effects)
Inform Manager On-Call of incident as it may disrupt the functioning of ED and can provide support.
Patient symptom-free and substance unknown
In our recent case Public Health England advised
- 4-6hr observation
- Discharge with advice:
- “if developing symptoms to return to the ED via ambulance but the patient must be aware that they must inform 999 of the original exposure.”