San Antonio hospitals conduct anthrax exercise

Several San Antonio area hospitals recently conducted a large scale disaster exercise simulating a terrorist attack using anthrax.

A total of 37 hospitals were involved in the mass casualty simulation. The scenario involved a terrorist attack on a San Antonio hospital using the bioagent anthrax. All of the hospital's patients had to be decontaminated and transferred to other facilities, according to KVUE.

"What we're doing is evaluating our ability to coordinate together to handle a large number of patients," Leni Kirkman of University Hospital in San Antonio, said, KVUE reports.

Doctors and administrators crowded into a command and control center to monitor and direct the relief effort. There they were able to coordinate with both hospitals and the emergency crews in charge of transporting the patients, who were actually nursing students that volunteered to take part in the simulation.

Evaluators overseeing the event scored the procedures used in the areas where patients were triaged and diagnosed.

Pablo Rojas, one of the evaluators, explained the purpose of the simulation and his role in it.

"We're looking for quality, make sure everybody knows their role. Make sure they're following the process, right procedures, patient safety," Rojas said, KVUE reports.