PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hospitals in the Philadelphia area have prepared for a trauma event of the magnitude of the Las Vegas mass shooting that left 59 dead and more than 520 injured.
Penn Presbyterian has one of the newest and most sophisticated trauma centers in the area.
It has all kinds of high-tech equipment, including a super-fast C-T scanner that can provide full body images in 10 seconds.
Saving lives with a large scale incident, like what happened in Las Vegas, depends on quick treatment and an experienced trauma team.
“For a situation of this magnitude, clearly, we would shift into mass casualty incident mode,” said Dr. Pat Kim, trauma director at Penn.
Lee says there is well-established protocol for treating a large number of severely injured patients.
“A tragedy of this scale, it would overwhelm any single hospital,” explained Kim. “All hospitals would be on alert and activate their own disaster plans.”
In addition to Penn, Philadelphia has four other level one trauma centers: Jefferson, Temple, Einstein and Hahnemann.
With a mass casualty incident, an emergency system is activated to coordinate what patients go where.
For trauma teams, a mass shooting with automatic weapons is especially challenging.
“These injuries can be much more destructive than usual civilian gunshot wounds,” said Kim.
Lee added automatic weapons cause extensive tissue damage and blood loss.
“Bleeding is, first of all, the leading cause of preventable trauma death,” said Kim.