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Hadassah Medical Organization Holds Chemical Warfare Preparedness Drill

National President Marcie Natan reviews plans with Dr. Osnat Levtzion-Korach, Director of Hadassah-Mount Scopus, and Israel's Minister of Health, Yael German.
National President Marcie Natan with doctors.

Because of mounting regional tension and rumors of chemical warfare in neighboring countries, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently announced a week of national emergency preparedness called Turning Point 7. This week, the Hadassah Medical Organization conducted a simulation warfare drill at Hadassah University Hospital on Mount Scopus to test its readiness for a large-scale chemical attack and its ability to treat dozens of patients in a short time span.

As part of the drill, the hospital was already "on alert" for a chemical attack when it began. All of the medical procedures were carried out using special equipment and the medical staff wore special protective clothing.

Approximately 115 "injured patients" were treated during the drill. The patients, played by soldiers and inflatable dummies, simulated various types of injuries that could possibly result from being hit by a chemical missile.

Specially dressed physicians and nurses admitted the patients outside the back gate of the hospital , and they were classified based on the type of injury they presented. Some of them, who were capable of walking, were considered "lightly wounded," while others, lying on special gurneys, were treated as "severely wounded." They were then taken by hospital staff to the supply yard, where decontamination stations, including respiratory units for the critically injured, had been set up. The staff working in the field then treated these patients.

Read about it in The Jerusalem Post>>

After passing through the decontamination stations and being given initial care by teams of doctors and nurses, the patients were then moved to the "clean area" inside for follow-up treatment. The drill did not include the follow-up treatment, which would ordinarily take place inside the hospital during a chemical event.

Israel's Minister of Health, Yael German, Minister of the Home-Front Command, Gilad Erdan, and Hadassah National President Marcie Natan were present during the drill and Dr. Osnat Levtzion-Korach, Director of Hadassah-Mount Scopus, provided them with explanations at the various drill sites as to what was taking place.

"I was very impressed by the high level of professionalism and seriousness displayed by Hadassah's medical team, the Israel Defense Forces, and the Israeli government," Mrs. Natan stated. "As someone who has been in Israel during wartime many times, all I can do is pray that we never need to use these skills."

"The exercise was a huge success, thanks to the cooperation from all participants," related Dr. Levtzion-Korach." The flow of patients was excellent and the administration of treatment to more than 116 'injured' was done quickly and efficiently."

Television teams and reporters from all over the world covered the drill at Hadassah, including journalists from China, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Spain, the United States, Germany, France, Russia, and two international Arab news channels.

Read about the nationwide preparations in the Times of Israel here>>

See more photos in our Google + album>>

Date: 5/29/2013

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