Emergency Response Essay

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Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response Robin Luttrell Walden University Family, Community & Population-based care NURS-4011-1 Dr. Sandra Wise December 21, 2012 Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response This paper will prove to be informative on the emergency preparedness and response to the biological agent Botulinum. It will provide information about the healthcare members involved with the threat focusing primarily on the role of the professional nurse. The purpose of this paper is to view how the nurse responds to a biological disaster through the skills of clinical judgment, decision-making, and communication. The Role of the Nurse The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines biological agents as “organisms or toxins that can kill or incapacitate people, livestock, and crops” (2012). Botulinum is a bacterium which is one of the three groups of biological toxins. The other two groups are viruses and toxins. When any of the three groups are deliberately released, it is considered a biological attack (FEMA, 2012). Botulinum is a toxin that is produced by clostridium botulinum which is considered to be extremely lethal, whether it is ingested, inoculated, or inhaled (Dhaked, Singh, Singh, & Gupta, 2010). Richard and Grimes (2008) provide significant information about botulism. The clostridium botulinum toxin is not spread from person to person and has an incubation period of 12 hours to 72 hours. Muscle paralyzing is the main symptom which usually starts by affecting facial nerves and extends to the other nerves in the body making this toxin highly lethal without respiratory support (Richard & Grimes, 2008). It can remain stable in non-moving food and/or water for weeks and requires standard precautions. There is an antitoxin for this bacterium if administered quickly (Homeland, 2004). In the event of a
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