Memphis-area hospitals prepare year round for mass-casualty situations

(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Las Vegas shooting is now prompting questions here in the Mid-South: Are our hospitals prepared for a disaster that size?

Regional Medical Center, a level-one trauma center, prepares year round for major emergencies, like many area hospitals.

"It gives us another opportunity to access how we would approach something if, God forbid, something like that happened in our region," Dr. Martin Croce, trauma chief at Regional Medical Center, said.

Regional Medical Center is the only level-one trauma center in the Mid-South.

"We see about 1,000 patients a month. No hospital in the world could handle an immediate influx of 500 patients," Croce said.

Despite this being a very busy trauma center, Croce said Shelby County can handle a mass casualty event.

"For a major influx, we'd have triage set up at a particular area, designated area, then we would triage patients into what category they'd fit in," Croce said.

He also said they're constantly doing hospital drills, and depending on the type of casualty event, they'll work alongside nearby hospitals and county emergency personnel to make sure everyone gets proper treatment in a timely manner.

"The people here, the worker bees, the ones doing all the work, they'd be tripping over themselves to come in and help. That's just the way people here are," Croce said.

Croce said it struck his heart when he found out so many people died in Sunday's mass shooting in Las Vegas.

"Our hearts go out to the victims, especially their families and all of the healthcare providers," he said.

Each year, EMS, hospitals, and firefighters do large scale drills in preparation for mass emergencies.

Methodist hospital officials sent the following flyer about a large scale drill planned for Oct. 11:

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