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May 21, 2012
NATO Protests May Continue after Summit, Loyola Emergency Expert Warns
Toxicologist Says one Chemical Attack Incident Reported
WHAT: “News reports of use of a chemical substance by protesters on a Chicago police officer as well as an unknown liquid found in the possession of an arrested protester are what we are hearing about NATO,” said Christina Hantsch, MD, toxicologist at Loyola University Health System. Hantsch, former medical director of the Illinois Poison Center, said, “The emergency medicine team at Loyola is prepared to provide medical care for any first responder or protester with any chemical exposure even if the specific agent is not identified."
Initial reports of injury have been limited. “Loyola is pleased that the law enforcement officers have been able to maintain control and there have not been large numbers of people requiring medical care at hospitals,” Hantsch said. “Loyola has been, and remains, ready to handle those with issues related to trauma, heat exposure, dehydration, infectious agent exposure, chemical agent exposure and other medical emergencies."
Hantsch and the Loyola medical team are prepared to extend their cautionary medical watch beyond the official NATO Summit timeline.
“Protesters have stated on the news that they are not leaving and pledge to continue to march,” said Dr. Mark Cichon, director of the Loyola Emergency Department. “Loyola will continue to be prepared to care for potential injuries well after the summit ends Monday night as our emergency management care team maintains ongoing preparedness activity."
WHO: Loyola University Health System, the only Level 1 trauma center in Illinois verified by the American College of Surgeons, is prepared for the NATO Summit. Available to speak with media are Loyola medical experts:
Mary Capelli-Schellpfeffer, MD
Director, Occupational Health Services
Utility and Electrical Disasters
Terrorism and Chicago’s Workforce
Mark E. Cichon, DO
Director, Emergency Medical Services
Overview of Disaster Preparedness
Christina Hantsch, MD
Toxicologist and former medical director of the Illinois Poison Control
Exposure to Crowd Control Agents: From Pepper Spray to Rubber Bullets
Arthur Sanford, MD
Karen Spangle, MD
Former Army physician serving international duty
Blasts and Explosives: Devices, Injuries
WHERE: Loyola University Medical Center
2160 S. First Ave., Maywood
For interviews, call Stasia Thompson at (708) 417-5036.
Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.