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Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013 Jun;28(3):298-300. doi: 10.1017/S1049023X13000095. Epub 2013 Feb 6.

New information technology tools for a medical command system for mass decontamination.

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Department of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan.


In a mass decontamination during a nuclear, biological, or chemical (NBC) response, the capability to command, control, and communicate is crucial for the proper flow of casualties at the scene and their subsequent evacuation to definitive medical facilities. Information Technology (IT) tools can be used to strengthen medical control, command, and communication during such a response. Novel IT tools comprise a vehicle-based, remote video camera and communication network systems. During an on-site verification event, an image from a remote video camera system attached to the personal protective garment of a medical responder working in the warm zone was transmitted to the on-site Medical Commander for aid in decision making. Similarly, a communication network system was used for personnel at the following points: (1) the on-site Medical Headquarters; (2) the decontamination hot zone; (3) an on-site coordination office; and (4) a remote medical headquarters of a local government office. A specially equipped, dedicated vehicle was used for the on-site medical headquarters, and facilitated the coordination with other agencies. The use of these IT tools proved effective in assisting with the medical command and control of medical resources and patient transport decisions during a mass-decontamination exercise, but improvements are required to overcome transmission delays and camera direction settings, as well as network limitations in certain areas.

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