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MJ 215 A Message from Katrina: Hospitals be ready. Part One

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This may be the most influential decision in domestic preparedness that nobody is paying attention to. 

Join me, Jamie Davis (The MedicCast/The Nursing Show), and MJ Co-Host Matt Comer on this two-part podcast. In part one we discuss the general situation and organizational implications. Part two will address individual actions and decision making in disaster situations.

This will be an extended series on Mitigation Journal Blog and Podcast. Will be evaluating the pro's and con's of this important legal decision, implications for health care and traditional response. This podcast is important for hospital as well as non-hospital personnel.


Tenet Health owned Memorial Medical Center during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Over one thousand civilians and patients sheltered in the hospital in the aftermath of the storm. The backup power had failed, there was no air conditioning, no power for ventilators, no running water or sanitation, and temperatures rose above 100 degrees.

But that's not all. Dr. Pou was accused of euthanasia "hastening" the deaths of some patients. Reports of inadequate triage processes for evacuation and lack or leadership quickly followed. Eventually, forty-five bodies were found in the devastated health center during recovery efforts.

A July, 2011 court decision requires Tenet Health to pay $25 million to those patients and civilians who took shelter at Memorial Health Center and died or suffered injury. The court ruling is based on the belief that the medical center failed to establish an evacuation plan and that by poor design, the backup power system was vulnerable to flooding...that is, they failed to plan, prepare, and implement adequate preparedness operations.

Part-Two available now. 

Click on the player below to listen now!

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