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400847 Surveillance And Disaster Planning

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400847 Surveillance And Disaster Planning

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400847 Surveillance And Disaster Planning

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Course Code: 400847
University: Western Sydney University is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia


This task provides students with an opportunity to witness a disaster preparedness training simulation enacted by the Paramedicine department. This allows students to experience first-hand some of the many complexities that arise from a mass-casualty incident response scenario.
Part 1: Reflective writing
Describe:Provide a critical analysis of the disaster simulation event. This should include some discussion as to what type of disaster was witnessed, the causes that contributed to the event, whether it was environmental or man-made,environmental factors, stakeholders involved, etc.Reflect:
Reflect on initial chaos of the disaster event.
How was this managed and brought under control by the emergency response personnel (triage, treatment, evacuation, managing emotional responses from those involved, etc)?
Was this plan well executed or appropriate for this event? If not, what should have been done differently?Consider the Incident Commander and areas of operation throughout this scenario.
What areas of operation were established during the event?
What was the response plan for this event? Was this plan appropriate for this type of disaster? If not, what should have been done differently?
What other aspects of disaster response planning should be considered for this type of disaster event (resource management, psychological first-aid, animal welfare, etc.)?
Part 2: Disaster response regarding professional role:
Consider your role within the health profession that you are studying (i.e. Public Health, Health Services Management, etc.)
Define your role as a health professional in relation to this scenario. discuss what your response would be to this event and how you might manage this within your professional role.
Detail your plan as though you were overseeing command for your professional body in this event.


Part 1: Reflective Writing
Description of the event
The unfortunate event of the explosion in the Chemical Laboratory of the University was caused on 23rd of September 2019. This incident was caused due to use of oxidizing chemicals in the laboratory using slight heat and without the use of fume hood. The Sash height was also kept a bit high that could not provide a physical barrier and the fumes released mixing with the oxygen at room temperature. In order to conduct the experiment on oxidizing agents, the students used nitric acid but failed to realize that nitric acid when comes in contact with oxygen, can be extremely flammable and cause an explosion (Nazin, et. al. 2017).
Since it was a man-made disaster and the mistake of few students caused such an incident to happen. As suggested by Pohanish (2017), the environmental factors included the known fact that oxidizing liquids and solids cause severe explosion hazards or fire in an enclosed place. During the experiment, one of my friends’ and few other people were considering the success rate of the experiment. However, as Varela (2015) suggests that the mistake of not taking precautionary measures while working with oxidizing agents like nitric acid created the risk. The explosion was caused a minute after we started the experiment one of the team members received second degree burns and others received burns on our arms and the inhalation suffocated us.
Reflection on the event
The initial chaos was tragic as one of my friend’s team members was severely injured due to second degree burns on his face and arms. The rest of them received burns on our arms and could not breathe due to the poisonous fumes in the room. The explosion was loud enough for the nearby classrooms to hear. The Disaster Simulation Team present in the college quickly reacted to the incident. Once the explosion was heard, the team was alerted by few of the students walking down the corridor of the chemistry lab. The emergency team included trained professionals you have practical experience and decision-making skills needed to successfully resolve any disaster incidents like this. The Disaster Simulation Team was quick to response and entered into the room following all the safety measures during a chemical explosion. The safety measures of wearing protective gloves, goggles and breathing masks where followed which are important to be provided to the victims (Arain, 2015). The emergency response personnel tried evacuating the students out of the explosion area and provided with gas mask to breathe. The medical team was also alerted and rushed to the ambulance equipped with first kit and emergency response procedures light covering the open wounds. The responsibility of the team was to evacuate the entire University to reduce the possibility of affecting parts of the building. As suggested in the article by Boonmee, Arimura & Asada (2017), the emergency disaster preparedness model was followed by the team in order to mitigate the risk as early as possible. Looking at the urgency of the wound of the affected students, they were triaged by paramedics before being transported to the hospital. Emotional responses were managed appropriately by consoling the affected and bringing the situation under control. The process of the plan included evacuation, safety procedures to be followed, triage, treatment and managing emotional responses. Since it was a chemical reaction explosion, the explosive materials were lit down with fire extinguishers.
Throughout the scenario it was realized that the prudent execution of experiment sound judgement and accurate assessment of work practices to evaluate the hazards and risks associated working with hazardous chemicals. The disaster management team collected the hazardous solvents in an appropriate containers and the broken narrow neck bottles in galvanized safety containers. The team was equipped with fire extinguishers, safety masks, Material Safety Data sheet to check the delayed response of the effect of the experiment. The use of Collaborative Control Theory for disaster management was considered on the basis of the important factors to provide better safety measures to the people (Bodin & Nohrstedt, 2016).
The response plan was appropriate for this type of disaster as chemical disasters require immediate evacuation and triage as it may impact a lot on the health of the affected person. As identified in the article by Shooshtari, Tofighi & Abbasi (2017), the plan used effective Incident Command System which suggest that chain of command was followed to manager incident. In order to provide aid in response and recovery, the disaster management team used a professional approach for the chemical disaster as it required understanding of chemical reactions, appropriate training and risk management principles. The team followed the appropriate action from each of the team member. First, the hazard control and fire management people evacuated the affected lab, the triage nurse assessed the degree of risk and people with knowledge of chemical explosions provided the appropriate medications.
Part 2: Disaster response regarding professional role
I was appointed as the Triage Nurse for this incident and I responded quickly to the explosion caused in the chemical lab of the university. The likelihood of such emergencies in chemical labs is common but explosions can have severe impact on the health of the affected person. There can be severe burns, irritation on skin and eyes, contamination to other chemicals nearby and inhalation of fumes from the chemicals (Rasool, et. al. 2016). The exposure to such toxic or corrosive elements can have dangerous impact and act as an engraving agent. If people are not following safety measures like using the right apparatus, maintaining right amount of height of the combustion flame, using highly corrosive oxidizing materials and not using fume covers during an experiment. As suggested by Reay, Rankin & Then (2016), the role of a Triage nurse can be challenging as it is practiced occasionally but requires immediate medical attention and treatment. During the period of chaos at the time of the incident, the number of casualties was unknown and therefore rapid assessment was essential. People were evacuated from the room of explosion; it was easy to evaluate the extent of injuries to the victims. One of them had life threatening injury with second degree burns that required rapid and definitive care. He required to be transferred to the operating room with direct compression of external bleeding as a rapid lifesaving intervention. Since treatment is not a part of triage, I was only interested to provide immediate care before handing the patient to the Healthcare providers. As a quick response, the wounds were covered, and gas masks were provided to the victims. The minimum category casualties required no treatment beyond first aid and oxygen. They stated a a normal mental status as compared to the person with severe burns. Since my response could impact the overall success of the medical response disaster, I could not place them under the delayed category. Being the first line of defense, I transported the affected victims to the immediate Health Care Centre where further treatment would continue for the chemical burns.
The detailed plan included checking the of chemical happened at the site of explosion and accordingly providing immediate care to the victims. It required thorough knowledge and clinical experience with types of injuries with training of managing in the context of chemical explosions. The plan also included very fine assessment of the number of casualties and the available resources to mitigate the risk. It includes the decision of either intubating the person who inhaled toxic gas in ventilators. Along with the intubating facilities, auxiliary equipment and monitoring support systems were also available. The electrical power is a necessity during such situations, and it was also checked at the time of the incident. The process of written documentation of the triage decisions and casualty management was undertaken. This helps for the medical practitioners to react immediate to such situations in future. This can also help in improving the quality and accuracy of the quality and accuracy of the decisions taken.
As I was overseeing the command of the entire response team to mitigate the risk factors of the incident. I ensured that the team was equipped with necessary knowledge of handling chemical explosions. The appropriate training for this kind of disaster management required immediate response and a facility disaster plan that includes immediate set of responses, availability of resources, availability of life saving equipment and knowledgeable staff to use the equipment. The disaster preparedness plan included arranging the emergency care system and informing the medical providers if required. As suggested by Hill Jr & Finster (2016), chemical emergencies like this can be unintentional and lack taking safety measures by experts. Therefore, it is highly recommended for people conducting experiments with oxidizing agents to follow all the safety measures like using fume protectors, galvanized materials, non-combustible materials nearby and wearing safety goggles and gas masks to avoid getting affected by the miscalculations of the experiments. Explosive injuries can cause burns, hearing loss, trauma and loss of any body part, people must keep them secure and follow safety measures while conducting such experiments.
I also ensured that the emergency care department was ready for such disasters in the local areas. At the time of the incident, the hospital was overbooked with many other patients and this caused a delay in providing immediate care to the victim. However, I assured that the victims were provided with immediate care as the previous tasks of disaster management in this incident were followed appropriately.
Arain, F. (2015). Knowledge-based approach for sustainable disaster management: Empowering emergency response management team. Procedia engineering, 118, 232-239.
Bodin, Ö., & Nohrstedt, D. (2016). Formation and performance of collaborative disaster management networks: Evidence from a Swedish wildfire response. Global Environmental Change, 41, 183-194.
Boonmee, C., Arimura, M., & Asada, T. (2017). Facility location optimization model for emergency humanitarian logistics. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 24, 485-498.
Hill Jr, R. H., & Finster, D. C. (2016). Laboratory safety for chemistry students. 4th ed. New Jersey, USA: John Wiley & Sons.
Nazin, E. R., Zachinyaev, G. M., Belova, E. V., Tkhorzhnitskii, G. P., & Myasoedov, B. F. (2017). Exothermic processes in mixtures of TBP with nitric acid. Radiochemistry, 59(5), 512-519.
Pohanish, R. P. (2017). Sittig’s handbook of toxic and hazardous chemicals and carcinogens. 3rd ed. New York, USA: William Andrew.
Rasool, S. R., Al-Dahhan, W. H., Al-Zuhairi, A. J., Hussein, F. H., Rodda, K. E., & Yousif, E. (2016). Fire and Explosion Hazards expected in a Laboratory. Journal of Laboratory Chemical Education, 4(2), 35-37.
Reay, G., Rankin, J. A., & Then, K. L. (2016). Momentary fitting in a fluid environment: a grounded theory of triage nurse decision making. International emergency nursing, 26, 8-13.
Shooshtari, S., Tofighi, S., & Abbasi, S. (2017). Benefits, barriers, and limitations on the use of Hospital Incident Command System. Journal of research in medical sciences: the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 22.
Varela, J. (Ed.). (2015). Hazardous Materials: Handbook for Emergency Responders. 2nd ed. New Jersey, USA: John Wiley & Sons.

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