Are Indiana hospitals prepared for a mass casualties situation?


There are 12 verified trauma centers in Indiana, but only one in Northern Indiana.

Memorial Hospital in South Bend is a Level II trauma center, meaning it’s staffed with on-call surgeons and trauma surgeons, specialized staff and the facilities to care for critically injured patients.

In the wake of the Orlando shooting, Memorial said it has the protocols in place to handle a surge of patients.

“We’re a busy trauma center,” explained Dr. Scott Thomas, chief of trauma services for Beacon Health and Memorial Hospital, “Training is about being able to manage the crisis at hand and deal with the disaster you’re presented with. And being bale to move on because you don’t really have time to think about what just happened.”

Anything that might overwhelm the capacity of the facility would be considered “mass casualty” according to Elizabeth Buchanan, the hospital’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.

There’s no fixed number, but Buchanan says they implement the mass casualty protocol based on the circumstances they’re presented with.

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