The view from inside major medical centers
This is it is certainly great that many of the academic hospitals and leading medical centers can participate in helping an emergency preparedness can help in planning for emergency preparedness, and even can participate in going to send out teams to sites that need help. But I do see that we also have a little bit of a blind eye to the kinds of problems that would occur if we are part of the problem, where a natural disaster could destroy our physical facilities, where a pandemic or a toxic substance being released could limit the number of people who could either get to work or participate in work.
And so I think that we have a ways to go as even leading medical institutions to really address not only how we can participate in helping if we're a in a viable and vibrant state, but also what happens when we are compromised by the problems. And I would say that this becomes also a problem for the people as patients in the hospitals. We know that of the people who were left behind in New Orleans after Katrina, 150,000 to 170,000 people were left behind because they were the sickest people. They were too sick to evacuate or too difficult to evacuate. And so we need to think about this as another dimension of emergency preparedness, that I think perhaps we haven't given as much attention to as we need to.
KELLY: Great, thanks (inaudible). Ed Miller, can you
MILLER: Well, I think after 9/11 Hopkins because of its proximity to Washington and the fact that we thought we were probably going to be involved in some of the casualties after 9/11, we put in place across the entire university, including the applied physics lab an office of critical preparedness called CEPAR. And I think of all I think our institution is well prepared. We have had a variety of drills. One of the things we have done is we have decided not to look at just the pandemic or a biological, but any kind of a disaster. So we use all of the events.
The other thing that we have done has been to very critically look at various scenarios about where the questions you raised, what would we do and how would we pull it together. The things that we have not dealt with I think are the ethical issues, which I think are going to be very severe. In the pandemic, a good example who is going to get the ventilators? It's nice for the secretary to say that we should stockpile ventilators, but I think we all know most of us don't have the resources to buy another two, three, four hundred ventilators, nor where we are going to use those.
So some of the ethical questions we have not dealt with and the other thing that I think concerns us is the interaction between the state and the city and an institution the size of Hopkins, that will only be tested in real time.