Spokane hospitals have mass-shooting plan - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane hospitals have mass-shooting plan

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Hundreds of victims from Sunday night’s shooting in Las Vegas were hospitalized in southern Nevada.

More than 100 patients alone were sent to the state's only level-one trauma center. Staff there described it as “controlled chaos.”

It raises the question: Are Spokane hospitals prepared for a mass shooting?

“I’m not sure if anyone is completely ready for an event like Las Vegas just experienced,” said Regional Emergency Manager, Darrell Ruby. “But I’m very confident in the planning and training and exercises we do.”

Ruby says Sacred Heart Medical Center (SHMC) and all of the region's hospitals and clinics would coordinate to best respond to a mass shooting.

“There would be a series of alerts that would go out through the hospital to notify staff of incoming trauma,” said Ruby. “Additional supplies would be brought to emergency rooms, we’d look to clear out patients who are not priority, and there would be coordination to move patients from one hospital to another to open up beds.”

SHMC has 28 operating rooms in its main campus. Unless a surgery was already in progress, all of the rooms would be used for trauma patients.

Patients would be prioritized based on the seriousness of their injury.

“We’d push some of our patients who may not need to be seen in the hospital into our urgent cares and our clinics,” said Ruby. “A lot of staff will come into the hospital on their own.”

Ruby says what happened in Vegas reinforces the importance of planning with community partners.

“Unfortunately it’s not a matter of if, but when these types of events will happen,” said Ruby. “We need to take every opportunity that we can to practice amongst our hospitals as well as all of our health care system partners.”

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