Mock disaster tests Texas hospitals' readiness


by Eric Gonzales / KENS

Posted on November 14, 2012 at 9:33 PM

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- In the wake of Hurricane Sandy many San Antonio hospitals coordinated a mock disaster drill Wednesday. 

Massive "casualties" started flowing into hospital emergency rooms.  University Hospital was 1 of 37 area hospitals that tested their ability to take in mass casualties in the mock disaster. 

The scenario was a terrorist attack on one local hospital with anthrax.  All their patients had to be taken in by other hospitals and decontaminated. 

"What we're doing is evaluating our ability to coordinate together to handle a large number of patients,” explained Leni Kirkman of University Hospital.

 Nursing students played the role of casualties to make the disaster seem real.  A command center full of doctors and administrators coordinated with other hospitals and emergency crews. 

One student said, "No I am not alive. No, I am alive...I am having a heart attack.”

 Evaluators were scoring the procedures in the emergency area as more than 50 "patients" were registered and diagnosed. 
Evaluator Pablo Rojas explained the purpose of the drill.

"We're looking for quality, make sure everybody knows their role. Make sure they're following the process, right procedures, patient safety," he said.
Fire and police agencies also participated, along with hospitals as far away as Laredo.

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