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Brooklyn Hospital Simulates Large Scale Response

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Should another terrorist attack happen, one hospital in Brooklyn is preparing its staff by using some of the latest medical training advancements available. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.

Robotic patients are part of a high tech simulation program at Maimonides Medical Center designed to train staff members in emergency preparedness.

"They can bleed. They breath. They have all the normal and abnormal heart and lung sounds. And we can really take health care personnel through scenarios that are critical but they don't encounter every day," said Maimonides Clinical Simulation Center Director Dr. Brian Gillett.

In a recent scenario, a robotic patient was in critical condition after being treated for a respiratory pandemic, prompting the doctor and nurse to check his airways. The clinical environment is re-created with the use of a laptop computer.

The simulators come in all forms -- adults, babies and pregnant women -- and are incorporated into drills to prepare the entire staff for a large scale emergency.

"One important caveat of emergency preparedness is you want to ensure that while you have patients who are potentially injured or exposed to a danger, you don't want to expose the staff or anybody else inside the institution," said Maimonides Emergency Unit Chairman Dr. John Marshall.

The emergency medical team at Maimonides was one the first in the city to put a HazMat response training system in place back in the late 1990's. They also helped other hospitals launch HazMat programs after 9/11.

Staff members say the training has helped them to prepare for all kinds of disasters including the most recent Hurricane Irene.

"Some of the issues we face with a blizzard or with a hurricane are similar to the issues we would face in a terrorist attack or a mass casualty where there are potentially many people injured," Marshall said.

Hospital officials say they're committed to keep pushing its technology and training ahead of the curve.

"I'd like to think with all the things that we've trained in that we'd be ready to roll. I just hope that we don't have to really experience it," said Maimonides Medical Center President Pamela Brier.

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