What if it happened here? As horrible as the question sounds, local hospitals want to be prepared if an event like the Las Vegas shooting were to occur in our area.
At least 59 people were killed and more than 500 injured Sunday night after police said a man opened fire from the 32nd floor of a hotel into a music festival.
As Las Vegas' trauma centers are being stretched thin, trauma center staff at Gwinnett Medical Center said they're are watching closely.
"The numbers of patients for that incident was just staggering and that is absolutely what goes through our minds is what would we do," said Gina Solomon, trauma manager at Gwinnett Medical Center. "Even when we drill, it looks like controlled chaos."
The staff at GMC recently trained for scenarios such as a mass injury event at SunTrust Park or the Mall of Georgia.
"You activate your system within your hospital with your tiered teams, you call back people, you clear out operating rooms, you set up places for patients to come," Solomon said.
Solomon said the goal is to help the most severely injured during the golden hour – that’s the first hour after injuries occur, when getting someone aid can be the difference between life and death.
"It designed so you can apply it to yourself,” she said.
That’s why trauma staff are now spending time in their community teaching people how to apply tourniquets.
"We have placed kits in Coolray Field and the Infinite Energy Center that include tourniquets and bleeding control supplies so bystanders can access them in the event they were needed," Solomon said.
In the event of an event in Georgia, here are where patients would head first.
Across the state there are five level one trauma centers, including Grady and Atlanta Medical Center, and there are nine level two trauma centers, which includes Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville.
"We treat over 110,000 patients per year in the emergency department. We are one of the busiest ERs in the state," said Richard Johnson, an emergency management coordinator at Gwinnett Health System.
Johnson said GMC's emergency plans prepare for an influx of 50 to 200 patients.
"If we can't handle that we have GMC-Duluth that we can also send patients to that are appropriate, and we can work with our other hospital systems in the healthcare coalition," Johnson said.
That includes sending patients to other nearby trauma centers.
Level I Trauma Centers:
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