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Laboratory Emergency Preparedness

Laboratory Emergency Preparedness

Overview

The Laboratory Services Emergency Preparedness program is committed to continual improvement of laboratory preparedness and response to all emergencies. We have improved our laboratories' capacities to respond to biological, chemical and radiological threats. With our partners, we intend to incorporate our response protocols to emergencies, including natural disasters, disease pandemics, or perpetrated acts into the framework of every day business.

Sentinel Clinical Laboratories - Revised Definition Now Available

The definition of sentinel clinical laboratories, revised by the Sentinel Laboratory Partnerships and Outreach Subcommittee, was published in October 2012, .  The definition can be found on the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) website. All sentinel laboratory guidelines for ruling out agents of bioterrosim can also be found on the ASM website, under the public policy tab.

Please contact Lana Moyer, (406) 444-0944, or by email, for the Montana Sentinel Clinical Laboratories Criteria for Certification checklist.

Portacount® Respirator Fit Testing Program

DPHHS Preparedness Programs loan Portacount® Respirator Fit Testers to hospitals and other facilities that utilize N95 respirators as part of their personal protective equipment. A Fit Tester may be checked out for up to three weeks. To request the use of or technical assistance regarding the Portacount® Respirator Fit Tester, contact Crystal Fortune, (406) 444-0930 or by email.

Exposure to Toxic Chemical Agents

Call the Montana Laboratory Services Bureau at (800) 821-7284 for information regarding specimens for Rapid Toxic Screens, collected in the event of suspected exposure of population to agents of chemical terrorism. Information regarding this program can be found on the CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response website, under Chemical Emergencies.  Please remember that specimens should be shipped to MTLSB for forwarding to the CDC for screening.  These are legal samples and will require a chain of custody form.  Contact the Montana Laboratory Services Bureau if you need a copy of a chain of custody form.

Exposure to Biological Agents

Call the Montana Laboratory Services Bureau at (800) 821-7284 for information regarding samples suspected of containing bioterrorism agents. Information regarding agents, as well as information for medical professionals and first responders, can be found on the CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response website, under Bioterrorism.  All sentinel laboratory guidelines for ruling out these agents can be found on the ASM website, under the public policy tab.

Water Tampering

Drinking Water Emergency Sampling (DWES)

Call the Montana Laboratory Services Bureau at (800) 821-7284 for information regarding sampling for drinking water emergencies.  These are legal samples and will require a chain of custody form, which is included in the drinking water emergency sampling kit.

Each local health jurisdiction is responsible for maintaining the location of these sampling kits.  Please contact the preparedness coordinator at your local health department for this information.

 

Unknown Substance Sampling

Please see CDC's website for their Laboratory Response to Suspicious Substances, and contact the Montana Laboratory Services Bureau at (800) 821-7284 for information regarding sampling for unknown substances.  Each local health jurisdiction and HAZMAT team has been assigned Chemical and Biological Agent Transport (CBAT) kits to provide a consistent mechanism for collecting and transporting samples to MTPHL.  These samples must be screened for biological, chemical, radiological, explosive, and flammable agents before submission, and require a chain of custody form, which is included in the kit.

Submission of Samples to MT LSB

Contact the Montana Laboratory Services Bureau at (800) 821-7284 for a Chain of Custody Form, if needed for samples that are not collected using the DWES or CBAT kit.

MT Laboratory Services Bureau Courier Information can be found on the MTLSB website under "Courier Routes and Sample Delivery".