So we’ve had quite a few mass casualty incidents this summer. We had the Aurora shootings in the movie theater and then followed soon after that by the shootings of the individuals that the Sikh Temple. An interesting side in this situation with the Sikh Temple is there was an article of what was going on on the hospital side of things.
Mass Casualty Drills and Review
We talk a lot about mass casualty incidents and I talked about the reason why the Aurora incident makes you need to practice more often on how you handle mass casualties. You need to think about it and run through the steps in your head.
What happens to these patients once we get them to the hospital? Is there ever going to be a need where we might have to help and fill in and do things at the hospital? The only way to know that is to practice and rehearse with your hospital colleagues and get an insight into how they have to scramble to handle a sudden mass casualty incident on the way in to their facility.
Nurse’s Perspective of Mass Casualty Incident
This is a great article. It talks about the whole situation from the time they were alerted, to the time they heard about potential numbers of patients, to the time they got the actual patients, the survivors in the incident.
The article looks at it from a particular nurse’s point of view and walks through her time with the situation and these patients. I think it’s important for us to understand how all these things are linked together.
Just like I talked about in this week’s leadoff article on why there needs to be a systemwide handling of health care including EMS in that process, there’s a responsibility incumbent upon us there to look at the other side of the patient care we start. Not only do the hospitals have to work with us and understand us, we in EMS have to work with and understand them.
System-wide Practice and Drills
For that reason, I’m a big proponent of systems training in these types of situations together. Train for mass casualty situations all the way across the system and making it available are everyone to participate in the debriefings afterwards. Give everyone a chance to participate in how these situations are managed and after the fact, see what everybody else had to deal with. What problems cropped up in the other areas that were dealt with? The police, the fire department, EMS, the hospital and other emergency management services all have a stake in making these situations run as smoothly as possible.
I urge you to check out the links to this and the other articles from news in the show notes for this episode over at MedicCast.com/blog. Over there you’ll find links to all these articles and of course you can always leave a comment yourself over there on the show notes page for this episode or send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catch this news item and more in this week’s episode of the MedicCast – Serotonin Syndrome and MedicCast Episode 296.