Eau Claire (WQOW) - As the nation reels from recent tragic events, News 18 wondered, are our hospitals equipped to handle such a tragedy here?
News 18 spoke to both Mayo Clinic Health System and HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital. Emergency physicians at both institutions said they have plans in place to handle massive trauma situations in the Eau Claire area.
Plans include having emergency staff on standby, being able to convert rooms to add additional space and a strong communication system with first responders, who are quick to notify the hospitals of what they are seeing on scene of an incident so emergency rooms can prepare.
Leaders at both hospitals told News 18 major trauma events are all unique, but having the training can make all the difference.
"Being a little bit smaller facility compared to a large teaching institution, we all have each other's phone numbers," said Director of Nursing for Trauma at Mayo Clinic Health System, Wayne Street. "So if there is a real event, we just simply pick up the phone and call each other. We will come and help the sick and the needy."
"We will just start basically by calling in extra staff, resources, looking at our current patient load," said Director of Emergency Services at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, Robin Shultz. "Do we have space for patients? How much space do we have? Are our emergency rooms full? Are operating rooms full? What do we need to start doing on our side of things to start moving patients so we can receive more patients?"
Both hospitals also have a color-coded system in place. If they were to get a large number of patients, each patient is either considered red, yellow or green based on severity of injuries, with red patients receiving the most urgent care first.