A decade after the 9-11 terrorist attacks and, closer to home, five years since the Dawson College shooting in Montreal that left two dead and 19 injured, the question still remains: Are Canada’s hospitals prepared for a mass-casualty incident? According to Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry professor Vivian McAlister, a surgeon with the Canadian Forces, you may not like the answer.
While field exercises are frequently held by first responders such as fire departments, emergency services and police, these drills usually stop at the hospital door. A survey by Dr. Avery Nathens of St. Michael’s Hospitals in Toronto found most hospitals in Canada to be poorly prepared for mass casualty incidents.
“Most of our hospitals hope sudden disasters won't happen in their area,” says McAlister, who is directing a one-day mass-casualty training exercise being held today as part of the Canadian Surgery Forum at the London Convention Centre.
- mass casualty,
- disaster preparedness