Doctors say ERs not ready for a disaster

From the Mercury News:

In September, emergency physicians from across the country gathered in Washington to rally for additional government support. More than 3,000 physicians attended and spoke in favor of a measure that would increase Medicare payments to emergency doctors and hospitals by 10 percent.

But the bill so far has only two sponsors. Emergency physicians say they are amazed that the Bush administration is willing to spend billions to stockpile Tamiflu for a possible super-flu outbreak – even though it’s not clear the medicine would be effective – while showing disinterest in aiding emergency hospitals that would have to handle flu cases.

Emergency departments are the perfect cauldrons for a dangerous strain of flu to spread through large numbers of immune-compromised people, said Kellermann, the Grady physician. Emergency centers should be expanded to have respiratory isolation areas and other services, he argued.

“We’re worried about a flu pandemic and we’re parking patients cheek to cheek,” he said. “That’s just mind-bogglingly stupid.”

One Response

  1. It goes without saying, but be prepared, get a defibrillator and atrial fibrillation here!

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