As candidates come to town, Philly and Cleveland hospitals prepare for the worst

As America's two major political parties ready for conventions, hospitals in host cities Philadelphia and Cleveland are postponing elective surgeries and bulking up on supplies, according to STAT.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and the Republican party will convene in Cleveland from July 18 to 21. Because earlier rallies for Mr. Trump have been accompanied by smatterings of violence, and the large crowd the convention is expected to draw, Cleveland hospitals are preparing for an emergency. Some Cleveland hospitals are requesting trauma surgeons alter vacation plans and stockpiling enough medical equipment and medications to last nearly 100 hours without requiring resupply, according to STAT.

Cleveland Clinic has run six drills in four months in preparation for the RNC.

"At the suggestion of the Secret Service, we need to be able to act independently for four days," Robert Wyllie, MD, the chief medical operations officer at the Cleveland Clinic, told STAT. "We know there's probably going to be some public disturbance that will occur at the RNC. We have to be able to think in advance of how we'd be able to handle a number of protesters who might need assistance, or police who might need assistance."

Philadelphia will play host to Hillary Clinton and the Democrats from July 25 to 28, and hospitals there are also preparing. According to STAT, Temple University Hospital is replenishing its blood supply and plans to keep hospital census low during the convention. Temple University Hospital regularly conducts exercises to prepare for mass casualty situations. After the May 2015 Amtrack derailment, the hospital took in more patients (54) than any other hospital in Philadelphia. 

Roger Band, MD, an associate professor of emergency medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals in Philadelphia, reported exceptionally high anxiety in the wake of the shooting in Dallas.

"I think it's obvious that the threat level, especially with higher-profile events like these, is increased quite a bit in the wake of what's happened recently. Even at a major trauma center, getting five or six critically injured patients is an extraordinary undertaking...so when you multiply that by five, or 20, or 200, you can very quickly overwhelm even an expert center," Dr. Band told STAT. "We've prepared for a really wide variety of scenarios. I don't even want to say what...I don't want to plant any seeds, or give anyone bad ideas."

Note: An update has been made to this article to include more information about preparedness measures at Temple University Hospital.

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