An understanding of Basic Decon Safety is crucial for all members of the medical staff. Lack
of such knowledge compromises personal safety, along with the security of the facility. While
only specially trained personnel wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will have
direct contact with contaminated patients, everyone at CMH needs basic safety training.
A Simple mnemonic for learning the proper approach to a HazMat contaminated patient is:
“Think RIN, don’t run!” RIN stands for RECOGNIZE, ISOLATE, and NOTIFY, the three
most critical concepts in the initial evaluation of such cases.
Think RIN, don’t RUN!
Think history, odors, skin lesions, respiratory distress!
ALWAYS keep contaminated patients outside the hospital!
Notify hospital supervisory personnel!
RECOGNIZE refers to the realization that a patient or patients may be contaminated by a
hazardous material. This understanding comes through direct history of exposure, by odors
they may off-gas, by blanched, blistered, or sloughed skin, or by signs of signs of obvious
ISOLATE refers to the importance of isolating contaminated patients outside the hospital.
Such patients can disperse hazardous materials by gaseous vapors (Sarin nerve gas in the
Tokyo subway), powders or liquids (Ricin exposure in Las Vegas), or infectious particles
(Anthrax attacks in 2001). If such contamination spreads, evacuation could become a reality.
NOTIFY refers to the notification of hospital supervisory personnel of contaminated patients
on the campus, so that they can activate our programmed emergency response. Contacting a
nursing supervisor, hospital administrator, or an Emergency Department supervisory nurse or
physician are the best techniques.