Every hospital should put in place specific guidelines to manage disasters and mass casualty, according to experts at a conference organised by Apollo Specialty Hospitals, Vanagaram, and Apollo College of Nursing in the city on Thursday.

“We have many years of experience with wars and terrorist attacks. We have gained a lot of experience on how to organise a system in hospitals to deal with mass casualties and save lives,” said Gila Hyams, centre director of Rambam Health Care Campus, Israel, during an international conference on ‘Disaster management and mass casualty-preparedness for hospitals’.

Hospitals in Israel are bound by law to be prepared to handle disasters, said Moshe Michaelson, medical director. “The ministry of health conducts checks every year to see if hospitals are prepared. Hospitals are compelled to perform one drill every year. This is part of the hospital license and if they fail in a drill, they have to do it again.”

Ms. Hyams said nurses are given checklists with different tasks, starting with evacuating the emergency ward to keep it free for the injured to be brought in, pool in staff, set up equipment and keep the treatment area ready.

Inaugurating the two-day conference, Governor K. Rosaiah stressed the need to devise an exclusive strategy for hospitals to handle disaster casualties.

Preetha Reddy, managing director, Apollo Hospitals, said the government, private sector, non-governmental organisations and the community should come together to help in overcoming an emergency situation.

K.A. Abraham, director of medical services, Apollo Specialty Hospitals, Vanagaram, and V. Satyanarayana Reddy, CEO of Apollo Hospitals, southern region were present.

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