Southern California Hospitals Not Prepared to Address Bioterrorist Attacks, Expert Warns
California must "do far more" to prepare hospitals for biological and chemical attacks, Amy Smithson, an expert on biological and chemical warfare, told state health officials on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reports. Speaking at a conference on disaster preparedness, Smithson of the Henry Stimson Center in Washington, D.C., told health officials that the Southern California hospital system does not have the facilities to treat the large number of patients -- in hundreds or thousands -- that would require care in the event of a bioterrorist attack. In addition, she said that the state has not established quarantine procedures, which could lead to "serious confusion" in the event of an attack. She added that New York City has moved "far ahead" of other cities in the development of systems to address bioterrorist attacks (Reich, Los Angeles Times, 5/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.