Hospital Preparation and Response to an Incident

  • James A. Geiling


Hospital-based physicians normally at some time their career study, prepare, and practice skills required to treat mass casualties. The focus traditionally centers on the presentation of many patients appearing at the Emergency Department (ED) door with multitrauma as a consequence of a conventional weapon or explosion or a natural disaster. The events of September 11, 2001 (hereafter called 9/11) and the subsequent anthrax cases that year demonstrate that acts of terrorism, including those of chemical or biological agents, have come to the forefront of our daily lives. Current governmental reports predict repeated events over time. Only through intensive education and training can physicians and medical facilities adequately prepare to meet the medical challenges imposed by chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) weapons of terror, commonly knows as weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Much work lies ahead, for over 70% of hospitals may not be prepared to handle such incidents (1), and only 20% have any plans for handling biological or chemical incidents (2).


Veteran Health Administration Personal Protective Equipment Disaster Response Disaster Preparedness Mass Casualty 
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© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2004

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  • James A. Geiling

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