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    Tuesday, October 17, 2006

    Preparedness Preparations A town in Maryland has made their flu shot campaign a biodisaster drill:

    In addition to helping people prepare for the flu season, the clinic was a drill, of sorts, designed to prepare county agencies to distribute medications or vaccines in the case of a large-scale medical emergency such as a pandemic influenza outbreak or bioterrorism attack.

    The clinic marked the beginning of the county's second annual Community Readiness Week. It was held on Columbia Gateway Drive, a loop of road about two-thirds of a mile long that was closed off for the day - except for the customers, who coughed up as much as $20 a dose.

    As vaccine seekers made their way around the loop, they stopped at various stations to sign consent forms, pay and get their shot or nasal mist - all without setting foot outside their cars. The process from signing to shots or spray took up to an hour and a half, some of the freshly vaccinated said before driving away.

    Every 20th vehicle car received a bonus - an emergency-readiness kit that included flashlights, hand-cranked radios and antibiotic hand wipes.

    ....Borenstein, wearing a vest that read "Incident Commander," ran the event with help from police, fire, public works and emergency management officials. From a command center in the Howard County Health Department in the Columbia Gateway complex, she monitored the flow of traffic on television monitors fed by video cameras at each of the stations.

    As different stations backed up throughout the day, Borenstein used hand-held radios to shuffle volunteers around and keep the flow of cars moving steadily.

    "This is the perfect exercise for us," said Chief Joseph A. Herr of Howard's Fire and Rescue Services. "Part of the problem is how do we handle large numbers of people."

    At the end of the clinic, the county had vaccinated people at rate of about 362 an hour.


    That's an impressive rate.
     

    posted by Sydney on 10/17/2006 09:00:00 PM 2 comments

    2 Comments:

    Heya sydney,

    I think this kind of planning and practice is great. Annoying (sometimes silly) for staff and patients, but.

    SARS (I worked in emerg in SARS-central) was bad.

    We had absolutely no idea what to do. At least we know what influenza is. Prepared is good.

    --drncc--

    By Blogger drncc, at 11:33 PM  

    We're doing this in my town. As soon as the rodeo gets out of the big special events arena.

    By Anonymous dani, at 1:01 AM  

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