Each participant played a patient in the situation and were assigned a description of their injuries.
In October 2010, an accident involving a school bus and a semi-truck left 17 students from the Camdenton R-III School District with injuries. The students were taken to Lake Regional Hospital for treatment.
Lake Regional wants to be prepared for emergencies like the one in 2010. In order to stay ready, Lake Regional’s emergency department participated in two disaster drills: a surge and Region F evacuation drill.
The first drill consisted of a mock emergency situation. Steve Dougan, Lake Regional’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, said, “We came up with a scenario which was a collapsed structure. There were people involved and we had a mass surge of patients all at once and the ER had to respond.”
Approximately 40 participants ranging from high school students to community volunteers took part in the mock scenario. Each participant played a patient in the situation and were assigned a description of their injuries. For instance, one patient was pulled from the rubble. His left upper arm was amputated and had poor blood control. Staff used triage tags to indicate the severity of the patients’ injuries.
Dougan said, “Our object on this was to figure out how much can we take before we have to divert. and find out what our weaknesses and strengths are. These guys were great on the strengths. I mean, they just rocked it.”
The second drill was an evacuation drill. Two hospitals in the Region F Healthcare Coalition had 90 minutes to evacuate all their patients who only existed in a computer program. According to Mitch Shields, Lake Regional’s community liaison, all movement of patients happened via means of a computer program.
Dougan said, “Two hospitals—we and St. Mary’s—had to be evacuated during the tabletop drill. We had 90 minutes to get as many people out as we could. That’s what the Missouri Hospital Association wanted us to do. We had 79 patients. We had to prepare transportation, time frames for ambulances to come and get them and bring them to the hospital. We got down to six people so we did not quite get it evacuated in 90 minutes, but it wasn’t too bad.”
Dougan said, “Right now we are preparing for any ‘What if?’”