Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) will hold a demonstration of a patient decontamination system in partnership with Harold Marcus Limited, Chatham-Kent Emergency Medical Services, Chatham-Kent Police Service and Chatham-Kent Fire and Emergency Services on September 17, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Harold Marcus Limited will be conducting a demonstration of their decontamination chamber in the ambulance bay outside CKHA’s Emergency Department (ED) at the Chatham Site. During this demonstration people attending the ED and visitors to the hospital will not be affected. All hospital entrances and departments will be open with services provided as usual.

This demonstration event will educate staff, physicians, volunteers, police, fire and emergency service workers on the process of patient decontamination in the event of large scale exposure of chemical, bio-hazard, radioactive and nuclear (CBRN) materials in the community. Decontamination is the process by which individuals and/or equipment are cleansed of CBRN material. In a large scale CBRN exposure event, CKHA would call a hospital-wide Code Orange which sets out established procedures for a response to external disasters and CBRN events in the community that would cause a contaminated patient surge to the ED. CKHA would also work in collaboration with CK Police, Fire Service and EMS to establish logistics and planning for patient decontamination in a safe and efficient manner.

Last year CKHA held a mock Code Orange emergency preparedness exercise at the Chatham Site ED that saw all staff within the mock area follow Code Orange procedures during the event with staff from the Wallaceburg Site ED attending for additional training. Staff in all other units conducted tabletop sessions to identify what action staff would take in a Code Orange emergency. At CKHA, all staff, physicians and volunteers complete online learning modules to familiarize themselves with the Ontario Hospital Association’s Emergency Codes.

The demonstration of the decontamination chamber on September 17 will provide the opportunity for staff, physicians, volunteers and CKHA’s emergency partners to see first-hand how the Harold Marcus decontamination system operates with the opportunity to ask questions.