Frank Walter Speaking at NCT CBRNe Asia 2014
Enhancing Medical Preparedness for Radiological Incidents & Terrorism by Dr. Frank Walter
On the 16th of October 2014, Dr. Frank Walter, Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, gave a presentation entitled “Enhancing Medical Preparedness for Radiological Incidents & Terrorism” during the 2014 NCT CBRNe Asia event held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Among his distinguished audience were CBRNe defense industry leaders, experts, and decision makers from various governments.
Dr Walter, who is also the co-founder and editor of the Advanced HAZMAT Life Support (AHLS) Program, began by providing an overview of different radiation threat scenarios, as well as the potential sources of specific radioactive isotopes. Then he proceeded to explaining the important distinctions between radiation exposure and contamination, and between external and internal contamination. These important distinctions guide the process of providing medical care to those affected by a radiological incident.
From these distinctions, Dr Walter proceeded to outline the treatment protocol recommended by the AHLS Program. He emphasized that “primary survey and resuscitation” always come first. It is a process made easy to remember by the mnemonics he supplied: ABCDE, standing for airway, breathing, cardiovascular, disability; and exposure with environmental control. The presentation then zeroed in on AHLS-developed protocol for the medical management of poisoned patients: the Poisoning Treatment ParadigmTM. Unraveling its steps is another ABCDE mnemonics; this time they stand for alter absorption and administer antidote, basics, change catabolism, distribute differently, and enhance elimination. Dr Walter wrapped up his very enlightening presentation by reiterating that “specific treatment depends on specific radionuclide.”