"So about 4:30 yesterday afternoon I was in the operating room getting ready to help an associate with an emergency case when they called a Code 1000 which is our view of an actual disaster, and I asked is this a drill or is this real, and they said no, this is real.
I told my partner I needed to go down to the emergency room. So I went down to the ER and was informed we had a mass casualty incident. We probably had at least 30 people coming to the hospital, at the time we didn't know how many were critical.
Once they began arriving my job initially was just making sure we were coordinating appropriate care. I wanted to have an idea of how many critical patients we had in the emergency department, and try to triage and figure out who needed what.
It became apparent that we had one patient that was not going to survive, so that patient was pronounced deceased. There was another patient I was taking care of that was critical that was going to need urgently to go to the operating room. So we coordinated that patient.
We had a lot of help from the emergency room staff and physicians. The hospital mobilized perfectly, literally for this true disaster response, and it was inspiring and I was very proud of how they did.
Something like this ends up being controlled chaos, and it was a little chaotic. I say there were so many people because so many departments mobilized so well and so quickly so we had a lot of people who were available, and we just had to coordinate where we were going and what we were doing.
It was enough that no matter whom I turned too and asked a request of, whether I needed IV fluids or more blood products, whomever I turned to was able to take care of it. No questions asked. So it really went quite well.
We had control of the situation in about 45 minutes. The administration here and our nursing staff and our trauma staff and the emergency room staff all mobilized the entire hospital and really within 45 minutes we were mobilized and ready to go. I took the patient up to the operating room and it only took me an hour to do what I needed to do. By the time I was done there there were people and staff everywhere to help.
As you walk through the halls, and I walked to and from the intensive care unit several times as I was caring for this patient last night, and there were families and emotions everywhere. It was very close for the family for this particular patient and it's a very difficult emotional thing. Basically they said just please, please save the person if you can.
We currently have two people that are still in the intensive care unit. One was operated on last night and is a paraplegic, but their back fracture is now stable. They will move on with the ongoing care and go on to rehabilitation. The patient I'm caring for is still in critical condition and will require additional surgery this afternoon, and I'm making arrangements to transfer them to a hospital near their natural home town.