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Above: Monique Imroth, director of emergency management at UC San Diego Health, adjusts her face covering while standing outside the medical system"s Hillcrest location, Nov. 2, 20trăng tròn.

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The job of Monique Imroth is khổng lồ always be ready for worst-case scenartiện ích ios, but the director of emergency management at UC San Diego Health said she hopes she’s never right.

"No one wishes they were wrong more often than me, but that said, the leaders of this organization depkết thúc on me và my team khổng lồ say, "We think this could be a problem,"" Imroth said.


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Imroth, also co-chair of the San Diego Healthcare Disaster Coalition, said the region"s hospitals plan year-round for events that could bring a mass of patients, like a wildfire or COVID-19 surge, and this year that includes the presidential election. Cities from coast lớn coast are preparing for protests that could turn violent amid the political divisions.

Imroth said there have sầu already been tense moments — a bus for Joe Biden"s campaign, which wasn"t carrying the Democratic presidential candidate or running mate Kamala Harris, was surrounded by supporters of President Donald Trump in Texas.

Imroth said she looks at occurrences elsewhere to inform preparations in San Diego County.

"We look at that as a collective sầu & say what is the potential that that could happen here, và then we plan for that," she said.


Reported by Tarryn Menlớn

That includes disruptions khổng lồ traffic patterns. In the past, local demonstrators have blocked highways, so Imroth said they"re prepared to re-route emergency vehicles or employees coming to lớn work. She said providers are also on alert if protests lead to injuries caused either by altercations or police response, such as the use of pepper spray.

"You could have sầu inhalation challenges, you could have panic that gets caused because that gets deployed or there"s violence that occurs — there could be crush injuries all the way up khổng lồ knifing or gunshots that could induce trauma, so we"re prepared for all of those challenges," she said.

Imroth said in response lớn a mass event hospitals may increase staff, discharge stable patients lớn create more bed space or activate emergency outdoor tents for triage.

A Scripps Health spokeswoman said officials there are also taking precautions but the region is well-equipped to lớn handle a potential major emergency.

"We have a cthất bại working relationship with law enforcement, và while we are increasing our security staffing, there are no specific threats. Regionwide, the San Diego trauma system is very well-coordinated. We can distribute multi- or mass casualties throughout the six adult trauma hospitals, and can Hotline in additional staff if needed very quickly," Janice Collins said in an gmail.

UCSD Health"s Imroth said routine regionwide planning helps ensure hospitals can balance demands from a large event with the rest of the community’s needs.

"We have sầu each other on a group text and we"re texting each other in the community lớn see what"s going on, what tư vấn is needed, and we help each other support và plan và prepare because we all need to be able khổng lồ lift our weight during a disaster so that everybody"s patients can get taken care of," she said.