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ER and Critical Care Staff Say Hospitals Unprepared for Terrorist Attacks

Available beds and adequate blood supply are top concerns

Two-thirds of ER and critical care staff in the U.S. don’t feel that their hospitals are prepared to handle the victims of the next terrorist attack or other mass casualty event, according to new data compiled by InCrowd, a provider of market intelligence to health care firms. The 5-minute mobile microsurvey conducted in the wake of recent terrorist attacks indicates that health care teams worry about key elements of operational readiness despite mandated practice and extensive training for mass casualty events.

InCrowd asked a total of 102 respondents (52 ER physicians and 50 ER nurses) about the operational readiness of their respective hospitals, rating disaster response on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 and 2 being “strongly agree” and “agree,” respectively.

  • Only 32% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that their hospital had adequate staff to mobilize in a situation similar to the attacks that occurred in Paris in November. Moreover, only 41% strongly agreed or agreed that their hospital was ready to respond to the victims of similar terrorist attacks. Available beds (only 26% believed they were sufficient) and an adequate blood supply (only 32%) were the top concerns.
  • Surgeon availability is paramount during disasters, and yet only half of the respondents felt that their facility would have enough surgeons on hand during a mass casualty event. Additional triage staff and additional staff training topped the ranks as the most-needed elements for hospital readiness at 30% and 31%, respectively. Still, many respondents were undecided about the readiness of resources and needs.
  • ER nursing staff clearly felt that patient anxiety is on the rise as a result of recent terrorist attacks, with 42% of nurses observing an increase in patients compared with 25% of doctors. Only 35% strongly agreed or agreed that their facilities would have enough mental health staff available during a terrorist event.
  • ER nurses appeared to feel more prepared than ER doctors in the survey. Nurses ranked the adequacy of surgeon availability at their hospitals higher than did doctors, with 56% of nurses compared with 33% of doctors agreeing or strongly agreeing. Nurses also saw crisis training as a greater need for their hospitals than did doctors (36% vs. 27%, respectively).

The survey was conducted on November 24, 2015.

Source: EIN Presswire; December 7, 2015.

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