Following the derailment of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia, Temple University Hospital took on more passengers from the disaster than any other emergency room, demonstrating the importance of emergency preparedness among the staff when a real crisis arrives.
20 gurneys were lined up outside the ambulance bay to assist the flow of patients as they arrived via ambulances, police cars, and other transports. Ernest Yeh, an emergency-room doctor on duty that night and a member of the hospital’s emergency preparedness team, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the staff drill and prepare for such mass casualties.
A Level-4 emergency was declared, triggering automatic text messages to doctors and nurses from general surgery, pathology, and other parts of the hospital. Extra food service workers opened the cafeteria and provided Gatorade and water for staff and patients alike throughout the ER.
Teams of doctors and nurses were assigned to each bay, responsible for quickly and efficiently stabilizing patients and moving them on to make room for the next.
Broken arms, legs, and ribs, along with several cracked vertebra, made up the majority of the injuries. Only one patient died at the hospital.
DRI offers a course and certification in Business Continuity for the Healthcare Industry – click here to learn more. And download a free case study, “Training for Disasters in the Healthcare Industry: 6 Cases Prove Its Value,” from the DRI resource library.