THREAT LEVEL ORANGE - DELAWARE HOSPITAL ALERT
The Department of Homeland Security issued a Code Orange - High Threat Alert today, Feb. 7, 2003. The High Threat Alert informed all
states that intelligence reports indicate potential for terrorist attacks to domestic finance, transportation and energy sectors. State
and local governments are advised to increase security at state and federal buildings, monuments, hospitals and high traffic locations.
NO SPECIFIC THREAT HAS BEEN RECEIVED AND NO SPECIFIC LOCATIONS OR WEAPONS HAVE BEEN INDICATED. Agents ranging from
biological, chemical and radiological remain on the threat list and require advance response preparation.
Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) issues the following recommendations and protective actions to all Delaware hospitals to
assure adequate advance preparation and response capabilities.
Each hospital should assure that this HAN alert, and those issued in the future, be provided to its emergency department, infection
control program, laboratory, public information officer, director of nursing and head nurse. Subsequent HAN alerts will be sent to
address signs and symptoms, as well as treatment protocols for potential terrorist agents.
Assure Hospital Safety and Security
- Protect air handling system intakes
- Protect liquid oxygen supply
- Require all vendors to schedule deliveries
- Hold unscheduled deliveries at least 1500 feet from the facility
- Heighten security around loading docks
- Increase visibility of security
- Review facility lock-down procedures
- Removal of facility/site plans from web sites
Begin DAILY Syndromic Surveillance Reporting
Use usual system (DPH epidemiologists will contract each hospital's infection control staff)
Provide a Specific Contact Person for Each Facility.
Identify a hospital decision-maker responsible for coordinating future information and preparedness and response activities. Please
indicate a method of contact and the number. (i.e. pager - 302-###-####) for this person on nights and weekends.
DPH also requests that hospitals make the following assessments and send information to DPH at 1-302-739-6659 by close of business
February 11, 2003. If this information has been previously provided as part of an American Hospital Association report, please
update the report at this time.
- Antidote supplies, i.e., atropine, 2-PAM Chloride, cyanide kits
- Current staffing levels and staffing required to implement your mass casualty plans
- Critical care and med/surg bed status - available vs. vacant
- Equipment status and any specific shortages, i.e., ventilators, hazmat decontamination protective equipment
- Supply status, i.e., oxygen and oxygen delivery devices, IV fluids, medications and pharmaceuticals
- Lab preparedness for rule out and referral of bioterrorism agents
Categories of Health Alert messages:
- Health Alert: Conveys the highest level of importance; warrants immediate action or attention.
- Health Advisory: Provides important information for a specific incident or situation; may not require immediate action.
- Health Update: Provides updated information regarding an incident or situation; unlikely to require immediate action.
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