How Would UPMC Hamot's Trauma Center Handle a Mass Casualty Situ - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

How Would UPMC Hamot's Trauma Center Handle a Mass Casualty Situation?

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Las Vegas is dealing with 59 casualties and more than 500 injured people after a mass shooting, sending the patients to its trauma centers.

"Trauma Center means that we are fully equipped, 24/7, 365, to handle all manners of trauma, including mass casualty," said Dr. Gregory Beard, the Medical Director for Trauma and Surgical Care at UPMC Hamot. 

Erie's UPMC Hamot is a level two trauma center, the only trauma center in the Erie region. It has an in-house trauma surgeon, an in-house trauma advanced practice provider, and an on-call trauma surgeon at all times.

"In addition, we have a system where we can get a hold of any of our nine trauma surgeons, and ask them to come in for assistance," explained Dr. Beard.

While they haven't experienced the magnitude of casualties like the Las Vegas shooting, they've experienced multiple shootings and even a 50-car pile up on Interstate 90, forcing them to put their plan into action. 

"All of our trauma surgeons, all of our advanced practice providers were here lending assistance. In addition, there are multiple emergency department physicians and emergency department residences full-time here as well."

The trauma center has 35 rooms, and ten additional rooms in the triage area. If needed, they have the ability to set up tents where the ambulances come in.

They also have a working relationship with the surrounding hospitals to make sure each patient receives the care they need.

"The major casualties and the major traumas would come here, and the ones that were potentially less injured would go to an outside hospital, and they would be triage in the field by the emergency medical services team," said Dr. Beard.

By volume, UPMC Hamot is the busiest UPMC hospital in the state, seeing 70,000 to 80,000 emergencies a year.

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