University of Louisville Hospital Trauma Center has a plan in place should an event such as the one in Las Vegas occur in Louisville.
As the only Level 1 Adult Trauma Center in the region, the physicians and staff at UofL Hospital are available and trained to care for trauma patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. In addition, the hospital conducts regular drills to prepare for all types of emergencies, particularly those that could include a large number of injuries.
In an emergency situation, UofL Hospital is capable of treating more than 100 patients simultaneously by utilizing 43 patient bays in the emergency department, 20 trauma/surgical ICU beds and 50 critical care beds. The hospital has defined specific roles for every unit and every department in responding to such an incident and each department practices their response in drills multiple times per year. The initial response is to supplement and support the hospital emergency department with the personnel to care for large number of patients at one time.
“While nothing can fully prepare a community for a tragedy like Las Vegas, it is our responsibility as a Level 1 Trauma Center to have a plan,” said Keith Miller, M.D., a trauma surgeon with UofL Physicians and assistant professor of surgery at University of Louisville School of Medicine.
Practices for mass casualty events are conducted both on a hospital-wide and community-wide basis in conjunction with city agencies and first responders. In situations that involve large numbers of injuries, patients would be assessed at the scene and transported to an appropriate hospital. Those needing the highest level of trauma care would be brought to UofL Hospital.
“The relative success of response depends on the community working together,” Miller said. “We would need the community, including other hospitals, the Red Cross, and others to work together. We have a responsibility to work in coordination with the community to prepare for this eventuality.”
Stop-the-Bleed prepares anyone to save lives
In Las Vegas, multiple reports were made of bystanders intervening to provide initial medical attention before first responders arrived. This underscores the importance of everyone, including those without a medical background, knowing how to provide initial care in an emergency.
Life-threatening bleeding is one of the major concerns in such a situation. The UofL Trauma Center is part of a nationwide campaign known as Stop the Bleed, which trains bystanders to intervene quickly and save lives. UofL Trauma Institute provides Stop the Bleed training at no charge to schools, churches, workplaces and other organizations. To host a training session for your organization, contact the Trauma Institute at 502-562-4060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.