Hospitals Unprepared for Pandemic Surge

February 5, 2007
by By Dan Childs
ABC News

But if an influenza pandemic were to begin tomorrow, the country's hospital beds would soon be filled to capacity. It is a projection that would surprise few public health experts. But data presented at the meeting paints a sobering picture of how profound and overwhelming the surge could be. "It is the big unaddressed issue, and we're only beginning to talk about how to provide care to people," said Jeffrey Levi, executive director of the Trust for America's Health. "We need to be talking about this." "Of all the things that keep you awake at night, this is the one that does the most," said Dr. Allen Craig, director of communicable and environmental disease services at the Tennessee Department of Health. "We don't have this capacity now, and frankly it's going to be very hard for us to come up with it in a pandemic situation."

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