How does the hospital respond to a chemical explosion emergency? This was the scenario enacted during a live emergency preparedness drill on Monday, June 18, at Hudson Hospital & Clinic. The drill was part of the hospital’s yearly mandatory emergency preparedness response to mass casualties. It’s a time for staff to prepare, train and respond to a mass casualty situation – in this case, a decontamination scenario. Lots of activity in and around the Emergency Center and hospital’s maintenance garage captured the attention of staff as they were called to effectively respond to the situation using proper procedure and protocol.
The drill scenario involved a response to a mock-maintenance explosion at the Hudson Middle School pool resulting in chemical burns on a number of mock-patients. St. Croix EMS & Rescue, Hudson Hospital & Clinic emergency medical staff, and additional staff from various areas of the hospital participated in the drill. Also participating as mock patients and concerned parents were approximately twenty students and four parents from the Hudson Area Swim Association (HASA).
The objectives of this emergency drill included: testing local EMS capabilities of triaging and transferring multiple causalities; testing the hospital’s use of the Incident Command Center and ability to respond to multiple trauma patients; establish adequate communication between the Emergency Center, EMS and the decontamination site; identify the need for evacuation and establish an alternate care site as needed; and successfully initiate procedures for the decontamination of multiple contaminated patients utilizing the HAZMAT decontamination tent and appropriate procedures.
Three drill reviewers, Ray Morris, St. Croix County Emergency Management, Betsy Johnson, Westfields Hospital Emergency Management, and Susan Timm, Westfields Hospital Infection Preventionist, were onsite taking notes and offering helpful suggestions for the drill successes and areas of improvement at the post-drill evaluation. According to Philip Hughes, manager, Education & Development, “It is important to continue to train and drill on the care of patients in a mass casualty situation and learn about incidents that might push the hospital’s ability to respond. Complexity of patients, staffing and physical resources are some of the huge challenges when faced with incidents of any size.” Additional emergency preparedness training sessions for staff are planned for this fall.
Hudson Hospital & Clinic is a non-profit health care provider located just off Interstate I-94 in Hudson, WI. The campus is designed with the latest technology and amenities to support whole health and healing for patients and their families - including a nationally acclaimed healing arts program. Twenty-five private hospital rooms feature private bath, garden views, guest accommodations and room service for patients and guests. Services include a regionally popular Birth Center, Rehabilitation Center, Imaging Center, cancer care, heart care, neurology, orthopedics and more. Hudson Hospital & Clinic is a member of the HealthPartners family of care.