'Spreading The News' In New York: UA's Advanced HAZMAT Life Support Course

<p>'Spreading The News' In New York: UA's Advanced HAZMAT Life Support Course</p>

'Spreading The News' In New York: UA's Advanced HAZMAT Life Support Course


DATE/TIME: FRIDAY, FEB. 21, 8 A.M. - 5 P.M.

SATURDAY, FEB. 22, 8 A.M. - 5 P.M.

PLACE: Roosevelt Hospital, Conference Room B
1000 Tenth Ave. (between 58th and 59th St.), New York, NY

MEDICAL WRITERS/ASSIGNMENT EDITORS NOTE: Media are welcome to attend and cover this event, which is for health professionals only, not the general public. A copy of the conference program is available at http://www.ahls.org, or call Danielle Crounse, program coordinator, (520) 626-2305. Drs. Harvey Meislin and Frank Walter will be available for phone interviews prior to, during and immediately following the conference; to make arrangements, please contact Danielle Crounse, (520) 626-2305.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the weapons of war have changed. Planes, the mail and even pedestrians can be used by terrorists to discharge biological and chemical agents or radiological and nuclear weapons.
To meet the challenge of responding to changing threats from hazardous material (hazmat), 35 New York City health professionals and professionals from other states -- including paramedics, nurses and physicians -- will attend the Advanced Hazmat Life Support(c) (AHLS) Course, Thursday, Feb. 20 through Friday, Feb. 21, at St. Luke's - Roosevelt Hospital, Conference Room B, 1000 Tenth Ave., New York, NY.

"The AHLS course is the only international one of its kind where attendees learn medical management of hazmat incidents, including exposure to nuclear, biological and chemical weapons as well as everyday hazardous materials," says Frank Walter, MD, chair of the AHLS Scientific Advisory Committee and chief of the Division of Medical Toxicology at the University of Arizona Department of Emergency Medicine in Tucson. The AHLS course is offered by the Arizona Emergency Medicine Research Center (AEMRC), a Center of Excellence at the UA College of Medicine, in collaboration with the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology (AACT).

The AHLS course is being held in conjunction with St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center. Course regional director is In-Hei Hahn, MD, medical toxicologist, Department of Emergency Medicine, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, and course instructors are Robert J. Hoffman, MD, and Lewis S. Nelson, MD.

Nuclear terrorism response training is included in the AHLS curriculum that instructs emergency responders on the medical management of victims of bioterrorism and other hazmat exposures, whether from intentional acts, inadvertent hazmat transportation or industrial incidents, natural disasters causing toxic releases, or an individual exposure to a toxic substance.

The AHLS course covers important hazmat properties; decontamination; rapid assessment and medical treatment of hazmat-exposed patients; antidotes and drug therapy; and establishment of hazmat-response systems in the community. Each course involves a board-certified toxicologist and medical doctor and is taught by AHLS verified instructors. The AHLS program also trains other medical personnel to become AHLS instructors who bring the course to their regions. The course format includes lectures followed by small-group interactive case studies and concludes with provider and instructor exams.

AEMRC has conducted the three-day program since 1998 when it was developed by Dr. Walter; Harvey Meislin, MD, AEMRC director and head, UA Department of Emergency Medicine; and Tucson Fire Department Captain Raymond Klein, who saw a need for a program addressing medical management of patients exposed to hazardous materials in addition to decontamination of patients.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the number of Advanced Hazmat Life Support(c) (AHLS) courses has more than doubled, training more than 1,800 emergency responders throughout the world. Participants have included paramedics, nurses, physicians, pharmacists, physician assistants, toxicologists, industrial hygienists and risk-management personnel from more than 26 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Greece, Mexico, Brazil, Switzerland, Italy, Australia and Hong Kong.

"Hazmat exposures pose a common threat to communities and individuals in the U.S. and internationally," Dr. Walter says. "AHLS enables health care providers to become the guardian angels of the front-line heroes -- the firefighters, medics and law enforcement officers who respond to hazmat incidents and terrorist attacks. AHLS also enables health care providers to provide state-of-the-art medical therapy for victims of hazmat incidents and toxic terrorism."

More information about the Advanced Hazmat Life Support(c) course is available at http://www.ahls.org, or contact Danielle Crounse, program coordinator, (520) 626-2305, Danielle@aemrc.arizona.edu

Upcoming courses include:

* Mar 6-7, Wichita, Kan., Via Christi Regional Medical Center

* Mar 12-14, Jacksonville, Fla., University of Florida Health Science Center

* Mar 19-21, Tucson, Ariz., University Medical Center

* Apr 14-16, Greenville, N.C., Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University

* Apr 21-23, Lansing, Mich., Ingham Regional Medical Center

* Apr 23-25, Minneapolis, Minn., Hennepin County Medical Center Pillsbury Auditorium

* May 16, 17, 19, Rome, Italy, Catholic University of Rome

* May 29-30, St. Louis, Mo., St. Anthony's Medical Center

* Jun 7-8, College Park, Md., Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute Headquarters

* Jun 11-13, St. Simon Island, Ga., The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort

* Jun 11-13, Jacksonville, Fla., University of Florida Health Sciences Center

* Jun 11-12, Dorado, Puerto Rico, Hotel Dorado Beach, **SPANISH only**

* Aug 13-15, Jacksonville, Fla., University of Florida Health Sciences Center

* Nov 3-5, Greenville, N.C., Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University

* Nov 12-14, Jacksonville, Fla., University of Florida Health Sciences Center