Health management of major chemical incidents requires a close collaboration between rescuers (on the disaster site and in the emergency department) and the poison center. The study tested telematic technologies allowing telepresence and teleconsulting, a real time and continuous connection among health care personnel and toxicologists involved in the management of the emergency. The link between the poison center (PC) and the emergency department in the local hospital is provided by a ISDN operating video conferencing system, while the data transmission from the site of the accident to the PC is achieved with a personal computer and GSM cellular data transmission. Toxicological databases and risk assessment software are integrated in the system, to support information sharing. To test such instruments in operative nearly realistic conditions, the main phase of the study has implemented simulated chemical disasters in different locations in Italy. Instruments for telepresence and teleconsulting have been effectively utilized to evaluate from a remote location the scenario and the severity of the accident, by inspecting either specific details or the whole scene, to enable PC guiding the triage of the victims before and after hospitalization, to utilize and share data, such as intervention protocols or patient records, and to document all the activities. In summary, this experience shows that the telematic link allows the toxicologists of the poison center to rapidly understand the situation, and to correctly learn about the conditions of patients with the help of images. The results of this study indicate the valuable benefits of telematic instruments for the health care in case of major chemical disasters occurring in a remote geographical location or in an area which lacks local toxicological experts, where specialized expertise can be achieved by the use of telematic technologies.
|Translated title of the contribution||Telematics equipment for poison control surveillance. Its applications in the health management of relevant chemical incidents|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro ed Ergonomia|
|Publication status||Published - 1997|