Medical Work Group Recommendation 2010-001: Post mission medical screening of US&R personnel and canines

For: Jeff Saunders
Chair, Operations Group640px-FEMA_logo.svg

From: Michael Kurtz
Chair, Medical Work Group

Date: June 24, 2010

RE: Medical Work Group Recommendation 2010-001
Post mission medical screening of US&R personnel and canines

The following is a Work Group Recommendation developed at the recent Medical Work Group conducted from June 15th 16th and 17th 2010 in Boston Massachusetts.

ISSUE STATEMENT

  • There are no consistent procedures for post-deployment medical screening.

GENERAL BACKGROUND

  • US&R deployments have the potential to harm personnel and canines medically and psychologically.
  • The provision of medical screening examinations after deployment can be reassuring to team members who feared potential exposure to infectious or other hazardous substances while on deployment.
  • At the same time, overuse of testing is expensive and can lead to costly and unnecessary further medical testing and procedures. Chance aberrancies in test results can lead to unnecessary medical interventions and can significantly increase anxiety.
  • It should be recognized that medical screening procedures are not perfect and cannot always definitively rule out a potentially hazardous exposure.
  • A balance between the risks of ‘over and under testing’ must be found and consistently applied.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Deployed Medical IST Personnel (as a group) are responsible for coordinating recommendations to the program office as to whether post-deployment medical screening (for personnel and canines) is necessary, and to what extent.
  • These recommendations should be specific to the mission.
  • The recommendations should be made in conjunction with deployed Medical Team Leaders, IST Safety, IST HazMat, IST Operations, and IST leaders.
  • These recommendations may be developed with the assistance of special expertise as available.
  • The issued recommendations will be submitted to ESF 9.
  • Post-deployment medical screening does not negate the need for DOL CA-2 forms. These forms are currently developed by IST Safety with input from IST Medical. It should be noted that the submission of CA-2 forms alone may be sufficient for medical screening needs.

PROGRAM IMPACTS/DOCUMENTATION CHANGES

  • Appropriately developed screening will result in improved healthcare for team members and at the same time prevent wasted resources.
  • This is a new post-deployment responsibility for designated IST and medical personnel.

ALLIED WORK GROUP COORDINATION REQUIRED

  • None

TIMETABLE FOR IMPLEMENTATION

  • Recommend immediate implementation.