Reason # 9,485,769,604 for Universal Healthcare.
Hospitals are shutting down burn centers
By BILL POOVEY, Associated Press Writer
U.S. hospitals are increasingly shutting down their burn centers in a trend experts say could leave the nation unable to handle widespread burn casualties from a fiery terrorist attack or other major disaster.
Associated Press interviews and an examination of official figures found that the shrinking number of beds is a growing cause for concern in this post-Sept. 11 world.
Experts say burn centers are expensive to maintain and often lose money because they are staffed with highly specialized surgeons and nurses and stocked with sophisticated equipment designed to ease patients' excruciating pain, fend off deadly complications and promote healing.
The number of burn centers in the U.S. has dropped from 132 in 2004 to 127, and burn beds have fallen from 1,897 to 1,820, according to American Burn Association records compiled from voluntary reporting by hospitals.
"People ought to be pretty frightened by this," said Dr. Barbara Latenser, burn center director at the University of Iowa Hospitals. "Some people who live out West, they are 800 miles from a burn center."
The (very detailed) article goes on to quote HHS preparedness spokesman Marc Wolfson as sounding like he spent every spare moment with Brownie-
HHS preparedness spokesman Marc Wolfson acknowledged that a disaster such as nuclear blast in a large urban area could produce thousands of burn victims, and that there would not be enough burn facilities to treat everyone.
"The number of total beds available in hospitals, we don't have direct control over that," he said.
Yeah, if there's no burn centers, then take 'em to the trauma units. If the trauma units are full, take 'em to the Vets hospital.
And if the Vets hospital is full?