Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
The horrors unfolding on the Gulf Coast just keep on coming. It really boggles the mind that this is happening in the US.

The greatest fear of any hospital administrator is keeping a place of this size, complexity, and fragility up and running in the event of a major natural disaster. It is simply and without equal, the biggest fear we know. To provide adequate food, water, and care to either huge numbers of people suddenly, or to continue providing care in the event that we are shut off from the rest of the world - are things we plan for, practice, and think about constantly. We have to make certain that in a complete disaster, that we are self contained and self sufficient for upwards of a week or more. We need to provide our own power, water supply, food and have enough staff and drugs on hand to take care of fragile patients independently of whatever else is going on around us. It's simply what we do.

My thoughts have been with my friends and colleagues at Tulane Medical Center these past few days. I marvel at the fact that they are still there, and that the staff, nurses and doctors, who have all lost their own homes and are worried about the safety and well being of their own families are doing everything in their power to take care of those patients who cannot take care of themselves. They are manually ventilating patients. This is the ultimate case of having someone's life in your hand when you are literally breathing for them.

I've spent plenty of nights at the hospital during snow emergencies over the years, but that minor inconvenience pales in comparison to what the brave men and women of New Orleans are facing now. They are true heroes.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:44 AM  
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