Trained for tragedy: Louisville healthcare workers react to severe situation

LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – While the hospital can only predict what will walk through its doors, emergency departments are trained to be ready for such situations.

When six people are taken to the hospital at one time with gunshot wounds, you can expect that it’s going to be a chaotic scene.

These life-and-death situations call for the entire hospital staff to operate at their best.

Tragedies, both manmade and natural, are going to happen at some point.

CEO of the Winston Medical Center, Paul Black said while healthcare professionals are used to handling emergency situations, having a multitude of patients flowing in all at once can cause a strain on any hospital.

“We have various codes we go through when we train for various events. We do things every once in a while all during the year to be ready when there are specific events,” said Black.

In a high-casualty situation, the most critical patients are treated and transported first.

The Winston Medical Center dispatched three ambulances to the scene – the most they have ever sent to one place at one time.

“This was one of the trauma rooms that local EMS life care brought patients and treated. Some were dispositioned to high levels of care and others were released,” said Black.

Next, they had to call a helicopter for some of the most critical patients.

“There’s basically a hotline. Suppose you’ve got that you pick up the phone. Call that particular number and they will get the helicopters activated and headed this way,” said Black.

Circumstances like this can also cause an overflow of uninjured people at the hospital.

“The biggest thing we had issues with is crowd control. I’ve had estimates of 75-150 people being here on campus that are not normally on campus and having to control those types of individuals in that type of circumstance,” said Black.

Thanks to the assistance of various departments only one person was asked to leave, and they were able to maintain order.

CEO Paul Black said his staff had a successful response, quickly treating and transporting the patients.

“The situation was handled very well, ” said Black.

Black said his staff is committed to caring for patients at the hospital and community.

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