We have purposely expanded on the well-known ATLS paradigm to aid EHCPs in their approach to a potential bioterrorism event. By building on a process that is already familiar, we hope this will aid the EHCP to remember a systematic approach to such an incident. By following this ten-step process, we believe that all EHCPs, and especially those practicing at the first echelons of care in urgent care clinics and EDs, can approach the daunting problem of biological defense with a good deal more confidence. This same model advocated for bioterrorism also may apply to natural infectious disease epidemics, particularly of emerging or re-emerging diseases, that might not be optimally managed by reliance on the conventional public health strategy that requires physician-dependent definitive diagnosis and active reporting mechanisms. The authors hope the acquired knowledge and skills one might gain will rarely be needed, but if the events surrounding the dispersal of anthrax-contaminated mail in the fall of 2001 are any indication of the future, such competencies will be invaluable.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine