About one hundred participants attended a crisis simulation training in Marseille, on October 12, 2022. Two crisis management meetings were held in the morning, as emergency services gathered in the afternoon for a field training to assess decision-making and patients circuits in the scenario of a measles outbreak among under-vaccinated people. The French trial was aimed to test and demonstrate intelligent decision support for pandemic prediction, as well as microbiological point of care testing (POCT), based on two tools developed by Institut Pasteur de Tunis for the European project STAMINA.
Participants were the main local crisis management actors, from hospital, emergency services, public health authorities, in the region Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur.
- Morning => welcoming participants, briefing, crisis management unit on two different sites, then debriefing
- Afternoon => welcoming actors, briefing, field training with emergency professionals, debriefing – then general debriefing with all the participants of the day
Loading the scenario, with key points => geographical and temporal information, name of the infectious agent (measles), population characteristics:
A visual tool to show the exercise course, from the first measles case to the beginning of the scenario, and help participants to understand the link between the outbreak and the arrival of pilgrims in the zone:
In the morning, 2 crises management units prepare for the trial:
In the afternoon, a field hospital (PMA) is set up on the hospital’s car park, in order to simulate the hosting of patients at the Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer:
Actors (students) simulated various severity levels, including patients needing hospitalization:
Hosting “patients” at the field hospital: two tracks were created, depending on the patient’s symptoms – patients with atypical clinical symptoms had to be screened with the POCT, whereas patients with “typical” clinical symptoms did not need any test to be diagnosed with measles.
Some “severe patients” required oxygen therapy.
Observers identify good practices and possible weaknesses; this information will be useful for professionals for debriefing at the end of the exercises.
Personal protection equipment is selected to be suitable for any emerging infectious disease (and not specifically adapted to measles).
At the end of the day, « patients » and emergency professionals from the local Prehospital Emergency Service (SAMU 13) have a feedback meeting:
Emergency professionals emphasized the importance and usefulness of sorting patients very early with diagnosis tools to prevent emergency services overloaded.
The organization team will hold a cold debriefing from the exercise in December.