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Physicians’ management of hazardous material (HAZMAT) incidents requires personal protective equipment (PPE) utilization to ensure the safety of victims, facilities, and providers; therefore, providing effective and accessible training in its use is crucial. While an emphasis has been placed on the importance of PPE, there is debate about the most effective training methods. Circumstances may not allow for a traditional in-person demonstration; an accessible video training may provide a useful alternative.
Video training of Emergency Medicine (EM) residents in the donning and doffing of Level C PPE is more effective than in-person training.
Video training of EM residents in the donning and doffing of Level C PPE is equally effective compared with in-person training.
A randomized, controlled pilot trial was performed with 20 EM residents as part of their annual Emergency Preparedness training. Residents were divided into four groups, with Group 1 and Group 2 viewing a demonstration video developed by the Emergency Preparedness Team (EPT) and Group 3 and Group 4 receiving the standard in-person demonstration training by an EPT member. The groups then separately performed a donning and doffing simulation while blinded evaluators assessed critical tasks utilizing a prepared evaluation tool. At the drill’s conclusion, all participants also completed a self-evaluation survey about their subjective interpretations of their respective trainings.
Both video and in-person training modalities showed significant overall improvement in participants’ confidence in doffing and donning PPE equipment (P <.05). However, no statistically significant difference was found in the number of failed critical tasks in donning or doffing between the training modalities (P >.05). Based on these results, the null hypothesis cannot be rejected. However, these results were limited by the small sample size and the study was not sufficiently powered to show a difference between training modalities.
In this pilot study, video and in-person training were equally effective in training for donning and doffing Level C PPE, with similar error rates in both modalities. Further research into this subject with an appropriately powered study is warranted to determine whether this equivalence persists using a larger sample size.
Currently, there are no universally accepted personal protective equipment (PPE) training guidelines for Emergency Medicine physicians, though many hospitals offer training through a brief didactic presentation. Physicians’ response to hazmat events requires PPE utilization to ensure the safety of victims, facilities, and providers; providing effective and accessible training is crucial. In the event of a real disaster, time constraints may not allow a brief in-person presentation and an accessible video training may be the only resource available.
To assess the effectiveness of video versus in-person training of 20 Emergency Medicine Residents in Level C PPE donning and doffing (chemical-resistant coverall, butyl gloves, boots, and an air-purifying respirator).
A prospective observational study was performed with 20 Emergency Medicine residents as part of Emergency Preparedness training. Residents were divided into two groups, with Group A viewing a demonstration video developed by the emergency preparedness team, and Group B receiving in-person training by a Hazmat Team Member. Evaluators assessed critical tasks of donning and doffing PPE utilizing a prepared evaluation tool. At the drill’s conclusion, all participants completed a self-evaluation to determine their confidence in their respective trainings.
Both video and in-person training modalities showed significant improvement in participants’ confidence in doffing and donning a PPE suit (p>0.05). However, no statistically significant difference was seen between training modalities in the performance of donning or doffing (p>0.05).
Video and in-person training are equally effective in preparing residents for donning and doffing Level C PPE, with similar error rates in both modalities. Future trainings should focus on decreasing the overall rate of breaches across all training modalities.
Recent natural and infrastructural disasters, such as Hurricanes Sandy (2012) and Katrina (2005) and the Northeastern power outage of 2003, have emphasized the need for hospital staff to be trained in disaster management and response. Even an internal hospital disaster may require the safe and efficient evacuation and transfer of patients with varying medical conditions and complications. A notably susceptible population is renal transplant patients, including those with post-transplant complications.
This descriptive study evaluated staff performance of a vertical evacuation drill of renal transplant patients at State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center – University Hospital Brooklyn (UHB; Brooklyn, New York USA).
Thirteen standardized patients, 12 of whom received a renal transplant, with varying medical histories, ambulatory ability, and mental status were vertically evacuated by the transplant staff from the eighth floor to the ambulance entrance on the ground floor. Non-ambulatory patients were transported on portable evacuation sleds.
All patients were evacuated successfully within 3.5 hours. On a post-drill evaluation form, drill participants self-reported largely positive results concerning their own role in the drill and the evacuation drill itself. Drill evaluators observed very different results, including staff reticence, poor training retention, and lack of leadership.
Despite encouraging post-drill evaluation results from the participants, the evacuation drill highlighted several immediate deficiencies. It also demonstrated a significant discrepancy in performance perception between the drill participants and the drill evaluators.
SalwayRJ, AdlerZ, WilliamsT, NwokeF, RoblinP, ArquillaB. The Challenges of a Vertical Evacuation Drill. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2019;34(1):25–29.
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