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MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause


WMD drill prepares students for disasters

by Melissa Lacas
Public Relations
Natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other major events often cause unpredictable consequences. Prepared with the knowledge and skills needed to handle a high volume disaster, medical students experienced the effects, albeit staged, from a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) during a drill held in the Horseshoe March 30.
Matt Kappus discusses the respiratory rate and pulse of a mock patient with Dr. Ralph Shealy during the Internship 101 disaster training session.

 More than 50 College of Medicine (COM) students worked with inflatable disaster training mannequins simulating WMD victims  as part of a drill hosted by the COM Internship 101 program and coordinated with the S.C. Area Health Education Consortium.
“Mass casualties are a fact of life in the Charleston area,” Bob Mixter, EMS director for Berkeley County said. Mass casualties can range from tour bus accidents to a chemical leak in a workplace. Within the past year, about nine incidents have resulted in numerous injuries in the Lowcountry.
An inflatable disaster training mannequin stands against a trashcan while nearly 100 mannequins lay scattered around the Horseshoe.

 First responders and hospitals must also be prepared for mass events such as bridge failures, plane crashes and port disasters, as well as terrorist and natural events, such as hurricanes or pandemics.
“In order to follow the utilitarianism rule, which is the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people, we must use a system to quickly categorize victims,” Mixter said.
Andrew Jameson helps James Gambrell put on his protective mask before he enters the decontamination lab. Boots and suits were also provided.

Students were taught how to test a victim’s respiration, pulse and mental status in less than 30 seconds in order to classify each patient objectively, efficiently and rapidly, using the simple triage and rapid treatment system.

Friday, April 3, 2009

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