North Texas hospitals prepped for Super Bowl emergencies



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Posted on January 28, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 28 at 10:24 PM

DALLAS - Behind the scenes, North Texas hospitals have been meeting monthly over the last year to come up with a disaster plan for the Super Bowl.

Jorie Klein, director of trauma at Parkland Hospital, has seen it all from the Branch Davidian to two major plane crashes.

"There were a lot of critically injured, burn patients that went to smaller hospitals around the hospital," Klein said. "They didn't get transferred until 12 hours later. Those patients needed to be in the trauma center.

Klein does not want past mistakes repeated, which is the reason she has taken control of coordinating

Super Bowl efforts with everyone from the FBI to Homeland Security.

"If we have an event where we have more than 500 people deemed critical, meaning they need help to sustain life with airway, breathing, or circulation, that will overwhelm the North Texas region," Klein said.

Patients would then be sent to Wichita Falls, Tyler, Waco, San Antonio or Houston.

The Tarrant County Health Department is already on point, from tracking diseases to organizing work teams.

Dr. Sandra Parker's team is tracking electronic data from emergency rooms throughout the region.

Every virus and disease gets recorded. That way, her team can investigate any problematic trends.

"Is it something we can link to a specific event or is it something that happens to be a weird natural occurrence," Parker said.

So, everything that happens in the area can be tracked.

"This won't just be Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth," Parker said. "This will be Oklahoma to Austin and all the communities in between will be impacted."