- November 25th 2011
Nearly a third of hospitals are unprepared for the six types of mass-casualty disasters that public health officials fear most, according to a report published in March by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
All of the nearly 400 hospitals that responded to questions about emergency preparedness as part of the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey had plans for at least one of the six types of disasters -- chemical, natural, epidemic, biological, nuclear-radiological and explosive-incendiary. The last two hazards were the ones for which hospitals were least likely to be prepared, with 20% lacking plans for either nuclear or explosive scenarios (www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr037.pdf).
"There are things that hospitals do well -- planning for chemical releases, natural disasters, biological incidents," said Richard W. Niska, MD, MPH, co-author of the report and medical epidemiologist at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. "One of my concerns is t [Read more]