Disaster Planning Strategy Shared
If you recall in the September editorial of ADVANCE for Administrators of the Laboratory, I asked for strategies on how hospitals plan for potential disasters. Input from across the country continues to come in, so for that, I thank you! Here’s some information from Jean M. McCarthy, MT(ASCP)SBB, System Transfusion Service Manager at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Jacksonville, FL.
We do not collect blood products at our facility. We have a community blood center located in our city that collects and distributes all blood products we might need. In the event of a disaster, our city has been divided in 5 areas so no matter which area of the city gets hit it is our hope at least one of the areas will be functional. Our local CD unit and community blood center are jointly responsible to receive and transport blood products to the hospitals in the time of city wide disasters. Hospitals are to call the CD command center to request orders for blood products. CD is to arrange delivery by whatever means necessary. We have a city wide plan, a hospital system disaster plan and the blood bank has both an internal and external disaster plan policy. All these policies dove tail together to make an overall community plan.
The hospital administrator is responsible for disaster planning at our facility. The administrator should have contacts to the local city disaster planning department. The city disaster planning department should have a general medical plan for the city. These plans usually cover medical supply location and transport. It’s advised to ask the administrator the contacts to use in case of an event and you need help getting blood products.
There are, of course, many other details in the plan not listed here, such as secondary locations within the hospital campus for internal disasters (we have two), having equipment and material supplies to set up a work station, on hand blood product and blood filter transport, a portable laptop to transport BB patient history data files and more.