The Ist National Conference on CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological & Nuclear) Emergencies and Disaster management was conducted in SIMATS, Thandalam, Chennai on the 9th and 10th of September 2019.
We are all aware about:
Hence, in Saveetha Medical College, it was considered apt to initiate a robust CBRN & Disaster Response Unit, which would have the know-how and skills to decontaminate and manage hazmat emergencies, treat Disaster victims and would be a focal point for reference and succor!
With this idea in mind the initiative was made and we had mentors on board in the conference who are stakeholders in CBRN and disaster management.
Our esteemed Chancellor Dr. N. M. Veeraiyan and our beloved Director Dr. Saveetha Rajesh inaugurated the event. The event cascaded following the initiative triggered by our Vice Chancellor, Prof Rakesh Kumar Sharma who has served previously as the Former Additional Director, Head, Division of CBRN Defense, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, New Delhi and facilitated by our Dean through his painstaking efforts.
Among the notable events in this conference were: presentations from Dr T V Ramakrishnan, Chief of ER, SRMC, Chennai, Dr Wasim, Chief of ER, Sundaram Medical Foundation, Chennai, Mr Selvakumar, State Head, EMRI. There was a robust presentation from 108 EMRI, (State sponsored free ambulance), who are the first responders here. We had an outstanding Scientist too on board, Dr. Srinivasan from Kalpakkam Nuclear Plant, who shared with us in a simple manner all about Nuclear particle contamination, demystifying issues, decontamination and management. There was a presentation on ophthalmic Decontamination and management from Dr Anuradha, Professor, Ophthalmology, Saveetha Medical College. Prof. Subbaiah, HOD, Department of Orthopedics, Saveetha Medical College highlighted the management of orthopedic emergencies attendant on CBRN events and Disasters. Prof. Vijaraghavan, Director, Research, SIMATS, spoke on deployment of Auto-injector kits during CBRN Emergencies. Mr Mohan, Advocate, High Court spoke of Disaster management ACT and the Nation's and State's Commitment to Disaster victims. Dr P V Lakshamana Rao, Former Scientist, DRDO spoke on managing Bio terrorism. Psychological and Psychiatric Implications were enlightened by Dr Viruddhagirinathan, Former Head, Clinical Psychology, Madras Medical College, Dr Samuel, Principal, Madras School of Social Work, Egmore, Chennai and Dr Shanthi, Professor, Psychiatry, Saveetha Medical College. Prof. Mahendran, Department of Forensic Medicine, Saveetha Medical College highlighted the forensic science aspects following CBRN events. There also was a " SIM WARS" event where students in 4 teams participated in Simulated disaster situations and prizes given to winning team.
Clinical Toxicologists , Dr Tejas from Ahmadabad and Dr Vivekanshu Verma from Gurgaon, were able to emphasize management of poisoning using innovative Simulations with mannequins, Role Play and Debriefing. Mr Hari Balaji, Disaster consultant, spoke on Private Public partnership during Disasters and stakeholders in Disaster mitigation.
Mock Drill: The NDRF Arakkonam battalion Deputy Commandant Mr J. Vairavanathan, presented on role of NDRF in Disasters in the morning of 10th September and also arranged for a mock drill in the evening.
The Drill was conducted in the college playground by 36 Army personnel. The scenario was a simulated bomb blast ( Dirty Bomb), where a bomb with radioactive material wrapped around it had been supposedly exploded by terrorists to disperse radioactive material over a wide area to inflict harm. The squad arrived with Bleeping alarms, cordoned off the area, demarcating into Hot, Warm and Cold zones. They further donned personal protective equipment to protect against radiation and went into the hot zones with Dosimeters to scan for radiation. They identified and provider first aid to the disaster victims and transported them back to cold zone in the periphery where further, decontamination was done to the " victims" and transportation arranged to the treating hospital. Further, the respondents and rescuers themselves were subjected to decontamination (by showers of water) procedures and wrapped up the Simulation. The events during the simulation was explained by the Deputy commandant using audio systems and loud speakers to the audience who were a mixture of students and staff of Medical, Nursing and AHS colleges. The simulation honed in knowledge and skills involved in rescue operations in a radiation/Nuclear Emergency, wherein demarcation of hot, warm, cold zones, First aid, donning PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment), evacuation, decontamination and transportation were all addressed.
We hope this initiative would have fulfilled its objective by creating trustworthy CBRN & Disaster response Centers in every Medical College /Corporate Hospital, paving way for countless lives to be saved with suffering mitigated by a conscious and responsive response.