Hospitals prepared for anything including terrorism during World Series

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ST. LOUIS,MO (KTVI)-- St. Louis area hospitals are being instructed to be extra vigilant because of the World Series. Health care officials want to be prepared for anything including terrorism.  Hospitals like SLU are called frequently this month by the health department to find out if doctors and nurses are seeing a cluster of unusual cases coming into the emergency room.

Dr. Ross Heller, a SLU emergency medicine physician said, “Unusual rashes, unusual blisters unusual coughs out of season.”  Those are symptoms that could be the result of a chemical or biologic attack.  Keith Gebke is a nurse who works in SLU’s emergency room.  Gebke said, “They call daily to see if we’ve had in spike in suspicion.”

So far everything is fine.  Emergency rooms get prepared when there are big events in St. Louis like the World Series. This weekend there’s the Rock n Roll Marathon and the Rams are playing Monday night football.  Dr. Ross Heller said, “It’s usual and standard practice for us to talk about what might occur and what we might do about it.”

He said small pox, botulism, and anthrax are all easy to get hold of and easy to spread. A patient contaminated would be rushed into the hospital’s deacon unit, scrubbed down and then put in isolation for medical treatment.  Dr. Heller added, “Terrorists look for potential targets. The Boston marathon is the perfect example. Here’s this big national, in some ways an international event, and it was targeted. So I think it’s appropriate to be concerned and do the things necessary to be prepared.”  Nurses and doctors train often to be prepared for the worst. The F.B.I. said Monday there are no known threats against St. Louis.