Chemical-biological-radiological (CBR) response: A template for hospital emergency departments

Gim A. Tan, M. C B Fitzgerald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) incidents have the potential to shut down emergency departments that do not have an adequate CBR response. Secondary contamination also poses a threat to the safety and wellbeing of staff and other patients. On activation of a CBR response, "clean" and "contaminated" areas should be clearly marked, and all patients decontaminated before being allowed into the emergency department or outpatients department. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is needed for all staff. Staff using PPE must be monitored for signs of heat illness. Stocks of coveralls, bags for contaminated clothes, plastic sheeting for radiological incidents, barriers for crowd control, and selected drugs should be obtained. Staff required include medical, nursing, security, clerical, orderlies, patient care assistants and other staff, depending on the type of threat. An on-call roster that allows regular rotation of staff is needed. All hospital personnel should understand the response plan, and recognise that the emergency department and hospital is a community asset that requires protection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-199
Number of pages4
JournalThe Medical Journal of Australia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2002
Externally publishedYes

Cite this