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View Diary: Bird Flu Preparation: We Are Not Ready (165 comments)

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  •  I agree (none)
    It's the least our medical community can do, but are we going to build and maintain 1000's of extra hospital facilities and just wait for a pandemic? What kind of public (now of course, privatized) commitment of tax dollars is that going to take just for a supposed epidemic?

    Is this because our "high standards of care" in the U.S. means a bed in a ward for each infected patient? What's that, another 50 million beds? Let's see . . .  500 beds per new "epidemic" hospital -- divide 50 million by 500 = 100,000 new hospitals. Ok, that's 100,000 real estate deals, 100,000 construction deals, untold millions of contracts to buy equipment, train and hire staff, etc, etc.

    What do you think this is going to cost, folks? THINK ABOUT IT. You think the Republican controlled country, the one-party totalitarian drive in our country will pay for even 10 hospitals?

    Uh Uh.

    IF there's a pandemic, we'll all be dying in droves. Oh well, Mother Nature has taken Her course many many times before in human history, and she will again. It's valiant and right to prepare and try to save as many lives as possible, but let's not take flights of imagination so far. Nothing in global history suggests humans will rally in such numbers ($$$) to save the hoi polloi.

    OOOOOMMMMM . . . . .

    by MarkosNYC on Fri Feb 03, 2006 at 06:18:23 AM PST

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    •  hospitals will need to be creative (none)
      Many people may need little more than fluids.  They don't need an ICU bed for that.  They may be fine in a cot in a large "flu ward" with oral rehydration solution such as used in underdeveloped countries.  They may need some supplemental oxygen for a while, but that can also be delivered in something far short of a new ICU bed.

      Regulations on bed capacity will need to be relaxed in such a setting and hospitals will need to shift their mindset to something like "If I didn't have to worry about every little letter of the law, how many patients could I safely take care of and how would I do that?"  

      There will be a massive tug of war between physicians who want to make plans for their hospitals to do this and the hospital's risk management people who will oppose it because it is outside of the "standard of care" or the "JCAHO standard"

      2,243 wrongs don't make a right.

      by desertbug on Fri Feb 03, 2006 at 02:25:19 PM PST

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      •  in a crisis one moves from (none)
        'standard of care' to 'sufficiency of care'. it meands using the local school instead of the hospital for the O2 and fluid cases.

        many of the state and international pandemic plans include just that way of thinking. local communities should be identifying such 'alternate care' sites, so as not to think something already designated as an emergecy shelter, for example, would be available for hospital-type care. That's the kind of thing that should be decided in advance.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Fri Feb 03, 2006 at 02:31:34 PM PST

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