How Virginia Hospitals Plan for Mass Trauma

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If the Navy Yard shooting happens in our own backyard, how ready is Virginia
to handle it?

Just a few
miles away from the dc navy yard shooting, Northern Virginia hospitals went on
standby, preparing to take in patients if necessary and then the news spread
fast.

Bob Mauskapf
with the Virginia Department of Health says all six hospital regions in the
state communicate when one of them deals with a multi or mass casualty
situation and they are ready if the next big one happens here.

“We
think of information as currency and we get that out there as quickly as
possible,” he says.

In Richmond,
VCU Medical Center tests its response plan 250 times a month, when two or more
shooting victims are brought in at the same time.

Last week it
opened an expanded trauma room, allowing it to treat up to 14 patients at once.

“We
have the knowledge, we have the training, we have the drills,” says Dr. Michel
Aboutanos, VCU Chief of Trauma Surgery. “Now we have the space the state-of-the
art technology to help us do this and limit the amount of time we need in order
to take care of patients.”

Emergency
responders come together several times a year for drills and look for
opportunities like NASCAR races and political campaign stops to practice what
they know.

As for Monday's
alert, no hospitals in Northern Virginia had to treat navy yard victims. Many
of those who were wounded are still recovering at DC's Medstar Washington Hospital.

 

Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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