Master's Culminating Experience
Objective: Hydrazine is a toxic industrial chemical with significant health risk. It is commonly used in aerospace technologies as a propellant fuel source for rockets and aircraft. The purpose of this project was to perform a comparative analysis of the emergency algorithms at United States Air Force installations where occupational hydrazine exposure may occur and then create a best practices approach for medical responders.
Methods: After review of current Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards and requirements for hydrazine, six United States Air Force Medical Group installation response protocols were analyzed and compared to each other and to current medical treatment recommendations.
Results: Analysis permitted creation of a best practices medical approach to a hydrazine exposure incident. Three specific areas of medical response focus were identified: initial fire department and emergency medical services requirements, medical evaluation and testing requirements, and immediate medical treatment requirements. Additionally, to facilitate emergency medical responders during a hydrazine incident, a protocol driven flow-sheet was created.
Conclusion: Though a rare event, occupational hydrazine exposure may lead to significant health consequences. Ensuring medical providers are able to both quickly and appropriately evaluate and treat exposure is of critical importance. As hydrazine is commonly encountered at United States Air Force bases, these findings could be utilized to standardize response protocols across all installations. As future studies and case reports clarify risk hazards, monitoring and updating of this protocol will be required.
Brough, M. B. (2016). Best Practices: Emergency Medical Management to Hydrazine Exposure. Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.
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