Mid-Michigan hospitals have systems in place to handle mass casu - WNEM TV 5

Mid-Michigan hospitals have systems in place to handle mass casualties

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After the mass shooting in Orlando over the weekend, dozens of gunshot victims were taken to hospitals throughout the city overflowing emergency and operating rooms.

TV5 wanted to know if hospitals in Mid-Michigan have systems in place to handle a mass casualty event.

"Tends to be very stressful. That kind of clam before the storm before people show up, but we're ready when they do," Dr. Ashley Huff said.

She specializes in disaster response for Covenant Healthcare. Huff said during times like that, it's all hands on deck.

"Chest tubes, extra monitors, equipment to put in breathing tubes, medications, everything is pulled out," she said.

Huff said Covenant is as ready as it can be for a mass casualty event. She said her staff implement triage criteria. They treat the most severely injured first and go from there.

She admits an influx of 50 to 100 trauma patients can overwhelm most hospitals, but that's where the teamwork comes in.

"We also have a couple of trauma centers in the area that are fantastic. St. Mary's we work together really well and also Hurley. We have had a couple of traumas in the last couple of years that we've had to split up patients between three hospitals.

Even though Mid-Michigan is hundreds of miles away from where the tragedy took place, Huff said her thoughts are with her counterparts in Orlando.

"Those teams are feeling a lot of stress and they're working really hard to save lives, but they're up against a lot," Huff said.

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