TABLE 6

Principles of Decontamination

All decontamination should occur outside the health care facility.
All health care professionals should wear appropriate PPE, as determined by their safety officer and occupational health specialist.
All levels of health care professionals should be trained to use PPE, including physicians, nurses, clinical assistants, security, and environmental services.
Remove clothing from the victims as quickly as possible. Victims should disrobe themselves when possible.
Discarded clothing should be placed in labeled plastic bag and stored for possible use by law enforcement.
Shower water should have a temperature of approximately 100° F and a pressure of 60 psi.
Water alone is used routinely. If material is oily, a mild soap or shampoo can be added.
Victims should shower for 5 minutes unless specific alternative recommendations are given.
If possible, water effluent should be contained rather than placing it in the local wastewater stream.
Use heat lamps, blankets, and other mechanisms to prevent hypothermia.
Critically ill victims should simply be disrobed and not showered before entering the health care facility. Cover hands, feet, and other exposed areas if there is evidence of gross contamination.
If there are multiple victims, anticipate the need to perform out-of-hospital triage.