Most communities unprepared for disaster

Many state and local government agencies and health systems are not ready to coordinate the response to a disaster that overwhelms available medical resources and requires a shift in standards of care, said an Institute of Medicine report released in March.

In the event of a catastrophe such as pandemic flu that results in a shortage of ventilators, hard choices will have to be made about who gets the high-tech breathing help. Ethical and legal “crisis standards of care” should be triggered by predefined indicators of disaster, yet few states have taken action to implement such a process, said the IOM report.

My latest. Read the whole shebang.