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San Diego Prepares to Respond to Mass Casualties.

Treating mass casualties is what hospitals need to do in response to a serious terrorist attack or a natural disaster. But it's a special set of skills that are not found at your average ER. We'll hea

San Diego Prepares to Respond to Mass Casualties.

Tom Fudge: When you talk about an event that results in mass casualties, it seems very melodramatic. It sounds like you're talking about stuff that just doesn't happen around here. But these things do happen, in connection with terrorist attacks, epidemics, natural disasters and any serious accident that involves lots of people. People who work in medicine need to know how to deal with them unless they're satisfied to just roll the dice and hope it never arrives at their doorstep.

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You'll hear from two doctors, Michael Sise and Jay Doucet. They teach a disaster preparedness class in which San Diego physicians, nurses and hospital administrators what it takes to deal with injury and illness on a very large scale. But we're going to start out by talking about a related event, that's taking place at a number of San Diego hospitals. It's a mock bio-terrorism exercise, in which hospitals will learn what they have to do to organize and respond.

Chris Van Gorder, President and CEO of Scripps Health System.

Dr. Michael Sise, Trauma medical director at Scripps Mercy Hospital.

Jay Doucet, Director of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest. He's also an associate professor of surgery at UCSD