Gross Decontamination

Patients may still have the toxin on their skin or clothing. Decontamination is generally achieved by undressing patients completely and washing them thoroughly with copious amounts of water. Patients requiring assistance should be attended to by properly gowned staff in an isolated area. Patients should be scrubbed with soft brushes so as not to injure their skin (thereby allowing the toxin to enter through an injured barrier). The towels used to dry patients, and their clothing, shoes, socks, watches, and jewelry, should all be handled as potentially hazardous waste. This gross decontamination will decrease the likelihood of spreading illness among staff members and other patients.

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