On 21 June 2022, one of the main exercises of the EU-funded STAMINA project took place. It used and evaluated several diagnostic devices for first-line screening developed within the framework of this international project. All the developed tools should primarily help to manage pandemic situations. Units of the Fire Rescue Service and the Medical Rescue Service of the Liberec Region also participated in the exercise under the leadership of the organisational team from the Population Protection Institute (PPI).
The exercise, with the title „Collection of a patient with a highly contagious infection”, consisted in simulating a situation where a special team designed to handle those situations is called to a patient who has returned from a vacation and is suspected of having a highly contagious disease. After examining the patient by the special BioHazard team of the Liberec Emergency Medical Service, the patient was placed in a special transport Bio-bag, in which he was after thorough decontamination transported to a specialized medical facility. In order to check the health of the patient placed in the Bio-bag easier, the SmartKo tool, developed as part of the STAMINA project, was used. It is a special bracelet that monitors body temperature, heart rate and blood oxygen saturation and transmits those data to the mobile application of the emergency health services. Using this tool, the patient’s health status was monitored online throughout the patient’s transport in the Bio-bag, until his admission to the special medical facility with adequate equipment.
Part of the exercise was also subsequent coordination of all units of the Integrated Rescue System of the Czech Republic (IRS) – the Fire Rescue Service, the Emergency Health Service and the Regional Hygiene Station of the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) during the epidemiological investigation. Specialists from the Regional Hygiene Station identified persons in close contact with the patient suspected of having a highly contagious disease and ordered them to stay isolated and quarantined. Two people in quarantine also received SmartKo watches to monitor their health during the quarantine. After decontaminating the team of the Regional Hygiene Station and their departure, the health status of the quarantined persons was monitored remotely using the software tools of the project STAMINA – “Early warning system” and “Common Operational Picture”, which evaluate health data from the SmartKo watch and automatically display warnings in the event of a deterioration in the patient’s health status, based on advance specified optional parameters. When the warning was displayed in the system, the specialists of the Regional Hygiene Station contacted the quarantined person to check the warning, whether, for example, the watch had been removed and, if necessary, to take other necessary steps to secure the health of the patient.
Despite finding some problems and shortcomings in the use of STAMINA project tools, which will have to be corrected for their possible future use in practice as part of the further development, the exercise was evaluated as an overall success.
It should also be added that not only the tools of the STAMINA project were tested, but after a longer break caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, a practical cooperation exercise of the IRS units of the Liberec region took place, which was also evaluated very positively by all the trainees and contributed to strengthening the ties and contacts among those basic units of the Integrated Rescue System of the Czech Republic.
About the STAMINA project
STAMINA is a H2020 project (No. 883441) developing a smart support platform that will assist pandemic crisis management practitioners at a regional, national and international level. The STAMINA toolset will be accompanied by a set of guidelines on the effective implementation of risk communication principles and best practices in cross-organisational preparedness and response plans.
The STAMINA consortium unites a diverse range of experts and organisations, including decision makers, policymakers, national planners, public authorities, health care workers, regional emergency management agencies, first responders, NGOs, social scientists, (bio)informaticians, research organisations and IT experts across the European Union and the United Kingdom, Turkey and Tunisia.
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