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Weapons of Mass Destruction Preparedness and Response for the XIV Pan-American Games, Santo Domingo, 2003

  • Amado Alejandro Báez (a1) (a2) (a3), Matthew D. Sztajnkrycer (a4), Ediza M. Giráldez (a2) (a3) and Hugo Pérez Comprés (a3) (a5) (a6)


The Pan-American Games are considered to be the fourth most important international athletic event in the world. Hosted by the city of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, the XIV Pan-American Games lasted from 11–17 August 2003. In preparation for the Games, the Security Directorate developed and deployed a Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Unit. For operational support, two strike teams (Alpha and Bravo) were active at any given time. Each team consisted of five members including a team leader, field physician, explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) officer, and two tactical offi-cers. Three hospitals—two military and one civilian—were designated as pri-mary medical centers for the event. With the assistance of the WMD Unit, emergency department staff were trained in the medical management of a WMD event, response protocols for WMD were created, and special decon-tamination areas were designated. Syndromic surveillance was performed by means of direct communications between the hospitals and units, as well as use of an electronic, Web-based surveillance tool.


Corresponding author

Amado Alejandro Baez, MD, MSC Brigham and Women's Hospital, Neville House 226, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA E-mail:


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