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Surge of patients trains for crises, Des Moines hospitals say

Des Moines Register, February 6, 2008
Hospital leaders in Des Moines, IA, say an unexplained surge of patients in January gave them valuable lessons on how to handle a sudden bird-flu outbreak or other healthcare crisis. At times, ERs became so full administrators were tempted to tell ambulance crews to take patients elsewhere but could not because of the surge. At times, nearly every hospital room in the city was taken, forcing hospitals' staff to become more sophisticated in how they handle such situations.