Wednesday, April 2, 2014

DHS Draft Mass Chemical Incident Patient Decon Guidance

Today the DHS Office of Health Affairs (OHA) published a notice in the Federal Register (79 FR 18570) announcing the publication of a draft of the “Patient Decontamination in a Mass Chemical Exposure Incident: National Planning Guidance for Communities”. OHA is seeking comments on the draft guidance.

The notice describes this draft document as:

This guidance document is developed for senior leaders, planners, incident commanders, emergency management personnel and trainers of local response organizations and health care facilities; it contains strategic-level, evidence-based best practices for use when planning and conducting patient decontamination in a mass chemical casualty event. The subject matter is focused on external decontamination of living people exposed to toxic industrial chemicals (TICs), toxic industrial materials (TIMs) or chemical warfare agents (CWAs) resulting from either an intentional or accidental release. 

Public comments are being solicited. Comments may be filed via the Federal eRulemaking Portal (; Docket # DHS-2014-0012). Comments must be submitted by May 19, 2014.
Unfortunately, the notice does not provide a link to the guidance. There is nothing on the OHA web site. And there is nothing currently in the docket. As I noted in an earlier blog post, there is an earlier limited-circulation draft document, but since this is almost two years old, I suspect that some changes have already probably been made.

NOTE: Updated 10:50 CDT 4-2-14 – A copy of the Draft is now available on the site.

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