HazMat Decision Support Tools
The World Health Organization released a statement today on the use of toxic chemicals as weapons in Syria.
The National Library of Medicine has decision support tools for emergency responders to help identify chemicals in mass casualty incidents such as this, and once identified, to provide treatment support. These tools are available online and as apps to download on smart devices. Find links to apps here: https://disasterinfo.nlm.nih.gov/dimrc/toolsnlmdimrc.html
Be prepared ahead of time for a chemical spill or toxic chemical attack; familiarize yourself with these tools and incorporate them into drills.
CHEMM-IST is a prototype decision support tool developed by experts in medicine and emergency response as an aid for identifying the chemical a patient was exposed to in a mass casualty incident. The focus of CHEMM-IST is only on severe cases. CHEMM-IST assumes that the patient has been exposed via the air, with potential toxic effects from inhalation, and also possible toxic effects from deposits on the skin from the air. https://chemm.nlm.nih.gov/chemmist.htm
WISER (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders) is a system designed to assist emergency responders in hazardous material incidents. The key feature of WISER is the support for identifying an unknown substance. WISER Help Identify can help an emergency responder identify and validate the unknown substance based on the following:
- signs/symptoms of victims of exposure
- physical properties of the substance gathered by observation or sensors
- hazard values from NFPA 704 placards
- the ability to categorize a substance, such as a substance used in a meth lab, a flammable substance, etc.
- transportation identification, including DOT placards, type of road trailer, and type of rail car
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