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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 194367 Find in a Library
Title: Contingency Planning for the Forensic Odontology Role in a Medical Disaster, Part I of II
Journal: The Beacon  Volume:3  Issue:11  Dated:August 2001  Pages:1-3
Author(s): Esther L. B. Childers
Date Published: August 2001
Page Count: 3
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: News/Media
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This newsletter focuses on forensic odontology in a medical disaster, a field exercise called Mall Strike 2001, a decontamination shower, and an interim-planning guide.
Abstract: A forensic odontology identification mission requires pre-incident preparation. Routine dentistry provides a background for duties as a forensic odontologist. Specific preparations prior to performance of a forensic odontology identification mission are quite helpful toward accomplishment in a timely and accurate manner. Contingency planning is important because the immediate and unscheduled character of a forensic identification mission does not allow prolonged preparation time following a request for action. Dental analysis may be one of several methods available to the medical examiner. Dental forensic identification depends upon the availability of antemortem records. Liaison is established within the dental staff with properly trained and interested personnel updated regularly. Liaison with the pathology department is essential. A point of contact with the mental health team should be established for psychological debriefs of the dental team as needed, based on the mission duration and extent. Mall Strike 2001, conducted in Pennsylvania, involved a simulated release of sarin nerve agent and the explosion of a radiological dispersion device. It was an exercise conducted in a no-fault, learning environment. A total of 26 fire departments and 22 ambulance service providers participated in the exercise. Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) has a decontamination shower, designed in part to handle any possible terrorist threat from a weapon of mass destruction (WMD). Decontamination consists of the person affected removing outer clothing and having to be washed down with large amounts of water. The VUMC method consists of 10 showerheads, permanently fixed in the ceiling of a sidewalk area outside the Emergency Department. Patients walk through the corridor of showerheads and come out clean at the end. An estimated 200 people can be decontaminated in an hour. The current version of the Interim Planning Guide: Improving Local and State Agency Response to Terrorist Incidents Involving Biological Weapons is now available.
Main Term(s): Domestic Preparedness; Medical Readiness
Index Term(s): Contingency planning; Crisis management; Decontamination; Dental analysis; Disaster procedures; Emergency procedures; Terrorism/Mass Violence; Victim identification
Note: Downloaded April 25, 2002
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