Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mass Casualty!!!

Last Monday, Aaron and I were asked to participate in a training event for the local ambulance crew and fire brigade (volunteers from the community). It was to involve a mass casualty  simulation at the local sawmill.  Of COURSE we wanted to participate!!!  It was as fun as it sounds.  They needed one of us to be the doctor, and one of us to be the most critically ill patient in the scenerio. Given that I am more than slightly more dramatic than Aaron, and he is CLEARLY the better Doctor, it was an easy decision as to which of us would play each role : ) We were asked to arrive early for briefing and make-up...  and the make-up part was awesome. There were seven total patients, and it was decided that an 'earthquake' had occurred and the sawmill had been hit pretty hard. There were several 'injuries' to hands, legs, heads, etc, a couple of burns, and I was supposed to have a liver laceration (internal bleeding).

fake gross injury kit, complete with ability to have actively bleeding wounds!

My right upper quadrant trauma painted on. Do you believe the pain on my face?

His forehead laceration looked amazing!

Dr. Stink Eye.  Luckily that healed up before the actual event.

Painting on a burned face.

Broken Leg!

the Burn Victims of the day.

Dillon had a gnarly finger injury and a syringe full of blood to squirt on to really sell it at the time of his discovery.

Gross/cool, right?

this is me getting buried under a pile of rubble.

Ready to earn my academy award.  Little did I know at the time that it would be at least half an hour before the teams would arrive, so I had to lay under that on the cold concrete floor for quite a while before I was pulled out by a first responder. I think my shivering just made it more believable.

HELP MEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  Once the situation was started, the fire brigade and ambulance crews were paged on their normal systems, and responded as fast as they could. They did a great job in securing the area, the fire brigade assessed the safety of the building and some ambulance crew members triaged victims and started treatment. I got carried out on a board by the fire brigade, then properly assessed by the ambulance crew and my diagnosis was considered pretty quickly (good job to Poss and Rae!) and I was transported by ambulance to where the helicopter would have picked me up had it been a real emergency.  Dr. Whiting was busy helping with the facial burn victim, then got transitioned to me when the severity of my condition was relayed to him. He astutely assessed me as 'one to watch' as I could decompensate quickly... and I did. My blood pressure tanked and I lost consciousness, but the crew did all the right things, and I'm happy to announe that they saved my life. We had a debriefing afterwards and talked about how it all went.  Overall, I thought it was a huge success.

And to top it all off, the lady who organized it all (one of the ambulance crew members) brought us a Pavlova (traditional New Zealand Dessert, delicious!) for helping out! Talk about a win win win win win situation!

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