First Drill for Toxic Attack
This is the first time in the 25-year history of the hospital that a drill was conducted in the event of such an emergency as described by the Home Command and the Ministry of Health’s Emergency Division.
Staff from all departments participated in the drill including medical and paramedical teams, security and sanitation personnel and administrative staff. The drill presented teams with a unique challenge: to screen casualties, neutralize toxins, undress and decontaminate patients prior to their entry into the hospital building - all while administering medical care and dressed in full protective gear to avoid contamination.
Dr. Avinoam Pirigovsky, Deputy Director of Schneider Children’s, who supervised the drill, noted that “the exercise imitated an unusual situation where medical and nursing staff had to treat a mass casualty event with multiple injuries and panic resulting from a toxic attack. The aim of the exercise was to maintain a high level of readiness, and practice and learn from what could occur. Over recent years, we improved the hospital’s readiness for various emergency events, prepared regulations and established a website for emergencies, installed alarm systems and protective glass windows, acquired a communications network and call-up system, received recognition as a hospital for emergencies, established an information center for families and a hotline, and upgraded the headquarters for emergencies and institutional contact with the Home Command and with the emergency division of the Ministry of Health so that hospital teams can operate as well as possible in a real event.”
Tzippi Oz, Coordinator for Emergencies in the Nursing Administration, said that “it is pertinent to note that all the staff showed a high degree of professional knowledge and enthusiasm throughout the process. In the event of a toxic attack, the hospital will be well prepared to provide the best response.”