Fertilizer Plant Explosion Tries Texas Hospitals' Crisis Planning

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An explosion at a fertilizer plant Wednesday night in the small Texas city of West has forced area hospitals to ramp up their crisis management plans.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, there have been 51 hospital admissions, 200 emergency department visits and five intensive care unit visits. The West Fertilizer Plant, north of Waco, Texas, exploded at around 8 p.m. local time Wednesday, leaving an estimated five to 15 people dead, according to multiple news reports.

Many injured in the blast were taken to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco, and several others were taken to Providence Healthcare Network in Waco, Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, JPS Health Network in Fort Worth and Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

Officials at several of the hospitals lauded the preparedness of their staff members. Raj Gandhi, MD, medical director of trauma services at JPS Health Network, said the area's regional trauma plan have helped save lives.

"[Wednesday] was as a disaster in all the ways that they are," Dr. Gandhi told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I believe it was mitigated because we had a prepared system."

More Articles on Hospital Crisis Management:

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Boston Hospitals Put to Test After Marathon Explosions
Rising Above Hurricane Sandy: Q&A With Hackensack University Health Network President and CEO Robert C. Garrett

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