From: McGrath Edward J <Edward.McGrath**At_Symbol_Here**REDCLAY.K12.DE.US>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] First aid for Chemical exposures
Date: April 18, 2012 12:47:28 PM EDT
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <CAOYSQ480UCAXaeXACDWrcC5hByVQMqQYzAc9OcaGrHF3VVe93w**At_Symbol_Here**>

To give you a K-12 public school perspective of the same issue:


Our district’s Science Safety Plan states that because each school has a nurse at all times, teachers must not administer first aid to any injuries, however minor, beyond washing with soap and water.  All injuries must be referred to the school  nurse for assessment and treatment.  We caught some flack about that because it means teachers should not put on band-aids (with the response, “don’t you think I know how to put on a band-aid???”)  The issue at hand is about liability.  In our case, the question is this:  if a child’s cut becomes infected or there is a piece of glass in the wound (or any number of hypotheticals) and the nurse did not assess the injury, the school might be liable for damages.  The plan also describes the “Good Samaritan Act” which addresses administration of emergency treatment in a life-threatening situation.  We have a special procedure for first aid during a field trip, when a nurse may not be available.


The take-home lesson that applies to all areas is this:  have a plan for injuries and emergencies, and follow the chain of command.  There is no greater sense of security than a well-designed emergency plan that prevents the emergencies it is designed to fix.


Edward J. McGrath

Science Supervisor

Red Clay Consolidated School District

1502 Spruce Avenue

Wilmington, DE  19805


(302) 552-3768


"Fortune favors the prepared mind."  Louis Pasteur

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Ken Kretchman
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 10:56 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] First aid for Chemical exposures


A great point made here by Harry and very well put.  Years ago at a private industry research lab we had to ask (insist that) a highly respected chemical safety instructor who many of you would know by name to please refrain from giving detailed medical treatment information at classes conducted for our research staff on chemical safety.  Some of the information he conveyed to the class was not appropriate and was in conflict with the treatment protocol described by our site occ physician. 






On Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 8:45 AM, Harry Elston <helston**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:

So are any number of us on this list,  George.

However. I do not believe that one would need specific training for FIRST AID beyond what you find in open source literature.   Anything beyond rinse and EMS (and perhaps Ca gluconate for HF)  gets dangerously close to TREATMENT, which is beyond the scope of most.
Regarding calcium gluconate on HF,  I believe that one will find that as a first aid measure in the Honeywell HF reference booklet.

It is recognized that there are other washes available (e.g.  Diphoterine, Hexafluorine)  that are gaining traction, especially outside the US.  Alan Hall can speak more cogently about that than I can.   The peer-reviewed case studies using these solutions is mounting in a positive direction.

A couple of take home messages for first aid:

1.   Water and lots of it.
2.   Don't be a chemist on someone else's skin or eyes.  Or your own for that matter.
3.   Leave TREATMENT to the pros.  Think standard of care here.

Get your EHS group to run some exposure drills and honestly critique the outcome if you want some fun! You "can" hire it out,  but everyone still needs to be involved for it to be meaningful.


sent from my Samsung Captivate

On Apr 18, 2012 7:15 AM, "george wahl" <ghw917**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:

Jim Kaufman would give you excellent training!


George Wahl



On Apr 17, 2012, at 9:21 AM, Humphrey, Karalyn J. wrote:

My department chair wants to have a training that specifically addresses first aid for chemical exposures.  Does anyone know of someone who might be certified/qualified to come and lead such a training?




Dr. Karalyn (Karen) Humphrey


Laboratory Coordinator, Department Safety Officer & Part-Time Lecturer

Baylor University Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Office: BSB E.111

Phone:  254-710-2002

“Vast worlds lie within the hollows of each atom, multifarious as the motes in a sunbeam.”  ~Yoga Vasishtha




Director, Environmental Health and Safety

NC State University

Raleigh, NC 27695-8007



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