East Tennessee hospitals host largest drill in state history

East Tennessee hospitals host largest drill in state history

Posted:
It was a scary scene at UT Medical Center. Although it was just a drill, it's a scene doctors have never had to deal with in Knoxville. It was a scary scene at UT Medical Center. Although it was just a drill, it's a scene doctors have never had to deal with in Knoxville.
Mock patients were admitted to the emergency room with several different types of injuries that would be seen if a real bombing were to occur. Mock patients were admitted to the emergency room with several different types of injuries that would be seen if a real bombing were to occur.
The Massachusetts Health Department advised organizers that during the Boston Marathon bombing, communication between all health care providers was key The Massachusetts Health Department advised organizers that during the Boston Marathon bombing, communication between all health care providers was key
In all, 1,000 student actors played patients with various injuries. Each were admitted and put through the same treatments those with real injuries would receive. In all, 1,000 student actors played patients with various injuries. Each were admitted and put through the same treatments those with real injuries would receive.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Hospitals from Johnson City to Chattanooga took part in one of the largest hospital drills ever held in Tennessee Wednesday morning.

It was a scary scene at UT Medical Center. Although it was just a drill, it's a scene doctors have never had to deal with in Knoxville.

"The scenario is a mass casualty bombing similar to what happened in Boston," said Katharine Killen with the Knox County Health Department.

Mock patients were admitted to the emergency room with several different types of injuries that would be seen if a real bombing were to occur.

"We're seeing shrapnel injuries and debris injuries," said UT Medical Center Safety Coordinator Jeff Pigg. "We've had several burn patients. We've also received amputation type injuries."

It's not just UT that would be effected if a massive blast happened locally. The Massachusetts Health Department advised organizers that during the Boston Marathon bombing, communication between all health care providers was key. That's why the entire region is also participating in the drill.

"Hospitals all over East Tennessee are seeing a surge of patients," said Killen. "That's one of the things we are testing is a surge plan."

In all, 1,000 student actors played patients with various injuries. Each were admitted and put through the same treatments those with real injuries would receive.

"Part of making sure we are prepared to manage that, should something like that happen, is having the plans and procedures in place, but also exercising those plans and procedures to make sure they will work in an event," said Killen.

Once the exercise is complete, all those who participated will take part in a debriefing to see what worked and what didn't. From there they will make a list of improvements that can be made at area hospitals.

While this is the biggest regional drill UT has participated in, they say they hold a similar large scale drill in their hospital once a year.

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