The Hospital ICS: Mainstream Solution, or Barely Used?

Most but not all HICS policy guidelines have been deemed by the nation’s health-care community to be both reasonable and acceptable. And most but, again, not all are being incorporated into local emergency-response policies and guidelines as well. So the system is not yet perfect. It is headed in the right direction, though – but at much less than flank speed.

The Limits of Detection: A New Horizon Beckons

To enter, or not to enter? That is the first and most important question facing first responders arriving at the scene of a major incident where there is reason to believe the area may be contaminated by biological agents. Lives are at stake, though, so quick decisions are mandatory, and there is no time to wait for the production and distribution of Gen 3.0 detection systems.

Hospital Emergency Departments - Infectious Diseases: The First Line of Defense

Very few Emergency Departments in U.S. hospitals can cope with a major outbreak of infectious diseases. But there is much that could & should be done before an outbreak occurs. Improved communications between and among all major medical facilities in the same geographic area should be the first priority, along with more and better training, and the elimination of current legal roadblocks jamming the system.

Biodetection: Today, Tomorrow & Years Later

Most U.S. counterterrorism experts and senior DHS and DOD officials agree that the greatest danger now facing the nation is not a nuclear attack but a biological warfare agent – which would be extremely difficult to detect, much less counter. There has been some limited progress in U.S. detection capabilities, but a much greater effort is needed. Immediately, if not sooner.

Swabs and Samples; Assays and Analytes

The collection of “samples” at the scene of a crime – or a toxic release or other possible mass-casualty incident – calls for extremely detailed planning, precise execution, and constant vigilance. Here is a short list of some of the numerous dangers and difficulties involved – some of them terminal in nature.

DomPrep Executive Briefing on PS-Prep

The well attended 15 November DomPrep Executive Briefing on the Department of Homeland Security’s new “Private-Sector Preparedness” program not only provided a wealth of information for those participating but also raised several exceptionally relevant questions – on a broad range of closely related topics. The one virtually unanimous conclusion (no “official vote” was taken, though) was that additional briefings, in even greater depth, are urgently needed and should be scheduled just as soon as possible.

UTMB: From Disaster Planning to Long-Term Recovery

Established in 1891 as the Medical Department of the University of Texas and housed in a single building with a class of 23 students, the University of Texas Medical Branch

'Pathogens for Knuckleheads': The Enemy Within - Invisible & Infectious

A possible nuclear attack against the U.S. homeland gets more attention, but homeland-security experts say an attack involving biological weapons could be much more devastating in its consequences. The warhead of such weapons would be pathogens – which, as this primer “for Knuckleheads” points out, are low in cost, easy to obtain, and already here, in galactic abundance.

Bio-Preparedness: From the Top Down

A smart leader recruits the most capable assistants he/she can find – and uses them wisely. But some topics in today’s dangerous world are of such transcendent importance – bio-preparedness, for example – that decisions cannot be relegated to subordinates. And neither can the drills, training sessions, and tabletop exercises required to understand those topics both in depth and in person.

The Driving Forces Behind Policy Making

EMTs and other responders face a host of dangers at the scene of a major accident. But the greatest danger, in many cases, is on the open highways and crowded streets that must be navigated, often at high speed, to and from a multi-vehicle collision or the sudden fire that broke out in a high-rise apartment building.
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