“It is alarming that two departments lacked a written plan for chemical incidents and a further nine could not access theirs at the time of interview,” notes Mr Darren Walter, who led the research team from the University Hospital of South Manchester. “There could be delays or even failures in contacting appropriate personnel from within and outside the hospital in the majority of hospitals, leading to substandard handling of patients, possibly with unnecessary risks to staff.”
Since October 2005 all UK emergency departments are required by law to provide and maintain chemical decontamination facilities. The survey revealed that whilst all of the Northwest's 18 emergency departments had a designated decontamination area, it was questionable whether some departments could respond appropriately during a chemical incident.
Around 1300 chemical incidents occur in the UK each year, most involving fewer than 10 casualties.
In face-to-face interviews, only 11 of 18 Nurse Managers (or a nominated deputy) said they felt their department had an adequately equipped decontamination area. For example, although three-quarters of departments had systems to trap water (containing potentially toxic or radioactive substances), 60% had capacity for less than one hour before effluent could enter the regular waste water network.
Only nine departments felt they could maintain patient dignity during decontamination procedures, mostly by using screens.
The study authors call for national guidelines on decontamination facilities and procedures. “There are major gaps in the preparedness of Northwest hospitals for chemical incidents,” says Walter. “Until standards are set and enforced it is likely that these inconsistencies will remain.”
Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center
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17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
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With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
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An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
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