Dr. Clifford Stirba, infectious disease specialist at The William W. Backus Hospital, speaks Wednesday with Robin Heard, nurse epidemiologist, about concerns for avian flu.
...One of the issues that most concerns Dr. Clifford Stirba, infectious disease specialist at The William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, is how hospitals would cope with a sudden inrush of patients.
Economic pressures have forced hospitals to become streamlined to the point that they have virtually no excess, or "surge" capacity.If 30 patients showed up at the Backus Emergency Room one day sick with avian flu, the hospital wouldn't have enough respirators or intensive care beds, and neither would most any other hospital, he
"We wouldn't even be able to take care of the first day," he
said. Stirba and Robin Heard, nurse epidemiologist at Backus, gave a public education talk last week about avian flu.
said people shouldn't be apathetic toward warnings about avian flu, because, unlike some other disaster scenarios, this is one that history showed in 1918 can and probably will happen again.
was overcrowded during the 1918 pandemic," Stirba