Central Ohio hospitals ramp up disaster preparedness efforts in wake of hurricanes

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After Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria demonstrated the strains natural disasters can put on medical infrastructure, central Ohio hospitals have been coordinating their disaster relief preparations, according to The Columbus Post-Dispatch.

Instead of hurricanes, these hospitals are preparing for disasters like tornadoes, blizzards, mass killings, virus outbreaks and plane crashes.

The Central Ohio Trauma System is a network of clinicians and other healthcare workers who help coordinate emergency responses between the police, fire departments, hospitals and other groups. This gives the region an advantage in disaster preparedness, one local provider told The Columbus Post-Dispatch.

"We don’t sit back and let somebody else have a problem and not chip in to help," said Andrew Thomas, MD, chief medical officer at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.

Back in April, providers across the region joined forces to test their preparedness for a high influx of patients when 500 actors simulated mass-casualty victims at various locations around Columbus.

"Bad things happen, but that brings out the best in people," said Mike Gregory, director for safety and emergency preparedness at Wexner. "There are always good lessons learned in those areas."

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