Course Overview

Multiple federal agencies have identified an emergent emergency medicine challenge: In an emergency situation, is the presenting patient suffering from an opioid overdose or from intentional poisoning by a chemical nerve agent? This key differential diagnosis carries with it important decisions related to the deployment of protective measures for both the healthcare community and public health. To an untrained eye, the signs of opioid and nerve agent poisoning may appear similar, but the health risks to the patient and responder are different.   

This  webinar will describe the key differences between these two types of chemical exposures, the steps that must be taken to prevent secondary exposures to others, and the associated public health and law enforcement notifications. By the end of the hour-long webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Recall the key differences in the signs and symptoms of opioid intoxication and nerve agent poisoning;
  • Choose the appropriate personal protective equipment;
  • Describe the initial decontamination and pre-hospital treatment; and
  • List the appropriate public health and law enforcement notification when a nerve agent poisoning is strongly suspected.

Course Resources:

Important Note

 It is customary for the P2R Academy to involve key parties across the public health continuum as we plan outreach and training activites; however, given the immediacy of this issue and the time constraints of a 1-hour webinar, we were unable to invite presenters from other organizations, e.g., law enforcement and pre-hospital care givers. To address this shortcoming, we will solicit commentary and feedback from course participants via the online chat room. This will allow all participants to be aware of critical perspectives. We will capture questions, comments and responses in a de-identified manner and make it available to all registered course participants.


Tuesday, October 9, 2018 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM CDT
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Registered course participants will receive a link to the webinar via email.


Pamela D. Phillips                                Program Coordinator
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)             School of Public Health
P2R Academy

P2R Academy

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