The OPCW Technical Secretariat will hold a course on international course on pre-hospital medical assistance for the victims of chemical incidents, including incidents involving chemical warfare agents. The course is related to assistance and protection against chemical weapons under Article X of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and will be jointly organised by the Government of Qatar and the Technical Secretariat.
The course will focus on pre-hospital care for chemical casualties and has been designed primarily for specialised paramedics, representatives of emergency services, and scene officers involved in providing pre-hospital care for chemical casualties and in the mitigation of the consequences of chemical incidents. Applicants from institutions that deal with disaster medicine will also be considered. The course will be particularly valuable for professionals and managers who work in the field of medical countermeasures to chemical emergencies, and who have a background in the medical aspects of emergency response to incidents involving chemical weapons and other toxic chemicals.
The participants will be provided with an overview of the nature of chemical warfare agents and other toxic chemicals and their effects. The course will enable paramedics and medical responders:
- to gain an understanding of operating in a contaminated area and providing first aid to chemical casualties while wearing individual protective equipment.
- to discuss problems that they may encounter when participating in response operations to chemical incidents, including medical countermeasures in the event of a chemical attack during a mass-gathering event.
The course, which will include both theoretical lectures and a practical component, will focus on pre-hospital care for patients exposed to toxic chemicals and on dealing with mass casualties, and will also facilitate the exchange of information and experiences regarding assistance and protection under Article X of the Convention.