SocraticGadfly: Missing from the ‘Global War on Terror’ political debate

August 21, 2008

Missing from the ‘Global War on Terror’ political debate

The ability, or inability, of our hospitals to handle a mass emergency, laid out in this special report (PDF) by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The report analyzed how well, or poorly, U.S. hospitals would handle something similar to the 2004 Madrid attacks.

Some of the bad findings?

More than half of Level I trauma hospitals have ERs operating over capacity. Hence this issue:

Several Level 1 trauma centers have their ERs on “diversion,” even though ambulances are never supposed to be turned away from such a hospital.

NO Level I hospitals have enough critical care beds for such an attack.

Most hospitals are inadequately prepared for a “surge,” unfortunately used this way, of casualties such as that from the Madrid attack.

Details in these graphics from selected U.S. cities underscore just how bad the situation is.

Read the full reportfor an eye-opener.

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