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Chapter 1 : Missteps and Mistakes: Lessons Learned from Real-World Incidents

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Missteps and Mistakes: Lessons Learned from Real-World Incidents, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

Sampling operations are complex situations involving numerous teams tracking multiple specimens while documenting the tasks. This chapter explores some missteps and mistakes encountered by the sampling community over the last several years, with an eye toward avoiding similar mistakes in the future. The real-world stories told in the chapter illustrate best practices that can be implemented during future sampling events. The information and stories presented were gathered from over 100 interviews with civilian and military sampling-team members from diverse backgrounds. The topics addressed are those that emerged as major themes during the interview process. Every interview conducted for this chapter touched on the crucial role of good information and careful planning in a successful sampling operation. Controlling the scene in large, prolonged, or high-profile incidents is very difficult, but the general tactics described still prove effective.

Citation: Emanuel P. 2008. Missteps and Mistakes: Lessons Learned from Real-World Incidents, p 1-24. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch1
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Figure 1

Training in PPE.

Citation: Emanuel P. 2008. Missteps and Mistakes: Lessons Learned from Real-World Incidents, p 1-24. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch1
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Figure 2

Workers taking mandatory rest breaks.

Citation: Emanuel P. 2008. Missteps and Mistakes: Lessons Learned from Real-World Incidents, p 1-24. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch1
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Figure 3

Decontamination of workers after sampling operations.

Citation: Emanuel P. 2008. Missteps and Mistakes: Lessons Learned from Real-World Incidents, p 1-24. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch1
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Figure 4

Visualization of the number of B. anthracis spores in different-size samples.

Citation: Emanuel P. 2008. Missteps and Mistakes: Lessons Learned from Real-World Incidents, p 1-24. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch1
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Figure 5

University of Florida sampling kit, including paint cans used for packaging of samples.

Citation: Emanuel P. 2008. Missteps and Mistakes: Lessons Learned from Real-World Incidents, p 1-24. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch1
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References

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1. ASTM International. 2005. Standard Practices for Collection of Surface Dust by Micro-Vacuum Sampling for Subsequent Metals Determination. ASTM International method D71440. ASTM International, Conshohocken, PA.
2. ASTM International. 2006. Standard Practice for Bulk Sample Collection and Swab Sample Collection of Visible Powders Suspected of Being Biological Agents from Nonporous Surfaces. ASTM International method E2458-06. ASTM International, Conshohocken, PA.
3. Committee on Science, U.S. House of Representatives. The Investigation of the World Trade Center Collapse: Findings, Recommendations, and Next Steps. http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/science/hsy24133.000/hsy24133_0.HTM.
4. Kournikakis, B.,, S. J. Armour,, C. A. Boulet,, M. Spence,, and B. Parsons. Risk Assessment of Anthrax Threat Letters. Technical report DRES TR-2001-048. Defence Research Establishment, Suffield, United Kingdom. http://hs.cupw.ca/pdfs/anthrax_threat_letter_eng.pdf.
5. Weis, C. P.,, A. J. Intrepido,, A. K. Miller,, P. G. Cowin,, M. A. Durno,, S. Gebhardt,, and R. Bull. 2002. Secondary aerosolization of viable Bacillus anthracis spores in a contaminated US Senate office. JAMA 288:28532858.

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