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Preparing for the Worst: Mass Casualty Events

Mass casualty events are, unfortunately, something that every healthcare facility must now train and prepare for. No matter the size of your organization, steps can be taken to put yourself in a better position to react and respond to a major occurrence. The range and severity of threats vary by location and many outside factors, but what is consistent is the need for organizational communication and proper communication and preparedness.

Communication & Preparedness | Preparing for the Worst: Mass Casualty

A study published in the journal Critical Care looked at one type of mass casualty event in particular: high-volume shootings. The hope is that through study, healthcare facilities and other responders can gain a better idea into how to prepare for such an event. In this study, 47 different events that took place from 1980 to 2016 were considered.

From data over the course of many years, researchers with the Joint Committee to Create a National Policy to Enhance Survivability from Mass Casualty Shooting created an acronym called THREAT. It's a concept that all healthcare and first responder organizations should digest, and stands for the following:

  • T: Threat Suppression: Important for any medical personnel arriving at scene, threat suppression highlights the importance of securing an area as quickly as possible.
  • H: Hemorrhage Control: According to the report, 30-40% of deaths in mass casualty events occur from simple, and often preventable, hemorrhaging. Healthcare teams with training in real-time mass injury tactics can reduce this number.
  • RE: Rapid Extraction: One of the major keys of mass casualty preparation is interagency communication and training. Only with good working teams can those with injuries be moved quickly and safely from the danger zone. This has been a major focus of post-9/11 incident training.
  • A: Assessment: Triage is complicated and difficult in a situation where all the players may not be known. Again though, communication and pre-event training are proven to help.
  • T: Transport: Finally, simple but critical, transport infrastructure must be designed and in place before any event occurs. 

In addition to the THREAT acronym recommendations, researchers continue to highlight the need for event simulation and training. Any healthcare facility can benefit from these team building exercises that assist with communication and situational awareness for employees.

With so much to consider, it can be wise for an organization to invest in systems that better facilitate communication and preparedness. NC4 indeed has a solution with its Healthcare Solution. For more information, contact us anytime at 877-624-4999.

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