COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Local emergency and trauma doctors said the fact hospitals need to be prepared for mass shooting incidents is a sad reality.
“Mass shootings are a huge issue increasing in numbers over the past many years here in the United States,” said Dr. Urmil Pandya, Trauma Medical Director at OhioHealth’s Grant Medical Center.
Thursday happened to be the second day of OhioHealth’s annual trauma conference. It brought together EMS personnel, nurses, doctors, and other providers from across the region. Mass shootings were on Wednesday’s agenda, before what happened that night.
“It’s happening everywhere, it’s happening in big cities, it’s happening in small towns as evidenced from what seemed to happen yesterday and it’s just a matter of time,” Pandya said. “We discussed it in this conference yesterday, it’s not really an if question, but it’s generally a when question.”
He said some of the conversations between attendees Thursday were about the mass shootings in Maine.
“We have a lot of Ohio which is rural, you have to be prepared. And it really brings up those questions of how are we going to support an area like a Maine where it’s a smaller area if it were to happen there,” Pandya said.
Grant and other area hospitals regularly go through various drills. Dr. Nicholas Kman, an emergency physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said they go through all kinds of scenarios including mass shootings.
“It’s important for hospitals to be prepared to accept there’s becoming a high possibility this could happen in your region or your city and so it’s best just to go through the paces of preparation,” Kman said. “When I do stop the bleed classes, with tourniquet training we kind of talk about unfortunately it’s not if, it’s more when.”
The doctors said some of the drills are done at the individual hospital level and some include all the hospital systems in the city.