Meth Lab Patients Endanger Medical Professionals - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Meth Lab Patients Endanger Medical Professionals

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by Brent Frazier 

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Although law enforcement officers are trained to know how to handle dangerous and volatile meth labs, the doctors and nurses who treat the meth-makers have been left out of the training.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has plans to change that fact. They have begun offering the first classes to health care providers about the dangers they might encounter treating meth patients.

Before this instruction, doctors, nurses, EMTs and even emergency helicopter paramedics had to learn by experience how to protect themselves and their patients from post-meth lab explosions.

"There's really been no formal training," said Vanderbilt Life flight Registered Nurse Chris Hartsfield.

According to John Walsh Jr., an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University's School of Nursing, the patients that come from meth lab explosions have health problems, but can also be a threat to hospital staff.

Due to the potential threat to hospital staff the Emergency Room at Vanderbilt Medical Center has created a decontamination room.

"We use that room to keep our employees safe." said Hartsfield.


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