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Hospital Launches Landmark Emergency Medicine Project
Date:1/10/2008

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"We have spent years developing concepts for a unique facility that is capable of handling patients from a mass casualty situation, such as a biological attack, radiation explosion, or a natural pandemic, but will also be of great value for patient care on a day-to-day basis. Now we will be able to find out just how well these concepts work. This is a test bed for assessing the benefit of new technology," Dr. Smith said.

However Dr. Smith adds that while this is an important step, much more needs to be done to achieve the goal of building ER One at Washington Hospital Center. "We appreciate the federal funds and donations from our partners that allow us to put these technologies into practice, but we still need to build a full ER One."

ER One, when built, will be a fully scalable, all-risks ready emergency care facility that serves as a hospital emergency department during daily operations and is optimized to handle the medical consequences of acts of terrorism, national disasters, and epidemics.

The ER One concept was developed by a team led by Dr. Smith at the Hospital Center back in 1999. The vision for building the facility took on greater urgency following the events of 9/11 and the anthrax attacks of 2001. Washington Hospital Center was one of the few hospitals in the country to play a major role in response to both events. The hospital was the destination for all critically burned casualties from the attack on the Pentagon and a month later treated hundreds of patients who feared possible anthrax exposure after anthrax was found on Capitol Hill and in a local postal facility. However the $75 million in federal funding needed to help build ER One has not been made available.

Washington Hospital Center is a national leader in emergency preparedness and has spearheaded efforts to improve the National Capitol Region's ability to respond to mass casualty incidents. Together with a coalition of local health care providers
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SOURCE Washington Hospital Center
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