RVU Performs Obstetrics Drill at Mass Casualty Training

Numerous local agencies, institutions, and community members took part in simulated mass casualty drills throughout November as part of South Metro Fire and Rescue’s active threat response training. The drills took place at various locations and included area hospitals, with RVU-CO participating in all nine simulations by preparing the simulated wounds of “victims”, training surgery residents, and providing logistical support in the Emergency Department. RVU also utilized the cut suit for surgeons to practice more complex surgical skills and open trauma surgery techniques.

Numerous local agencies, institutions, and community members took part in simulated mass casualty drills throughout November as part of South Metro Fire and Rescue’s active threat response training. The drills took place at various locations and included area hospitals, with RVU-CO participating in all nine simulations by preparing the simulated wounds of “victims”, training surgery residents, and providing logistical support in the Emergency Department. RVU also utilized the cut suit for surgeons to practice more complex surgical skills and open trauma surgery techniques.

During one simulated scenario, Susan Carter, MD, Director of the Institute for Medical and Surgical Simulation, performed a Perimortem Cesarean Delivery (PMCD) with assistance from students Danielle Kauppinen, OMS I, and Patrizia Grob, OMS I, on a pregnant “victim” with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. This simulation – which includes an innovative surgical tool that closely recreates a mother’s internal organs, uterus, and amniotic fluid – is the first exercise of its kind in Colorado and in the region. It has proven to be a timely training exercise as a national emphasis has been placed on addressing increasing maternal mortality. The PMCD, which also incorporated a resuscitation on the newborn simulator, was the result of a team effort that included Tina Underwood, MAEd, CHSE, Director of the Department of Clinical Assessment and Simulation; David Ross, DO, FACEP, Director of Rural and Wilderness Medicine Track; Anthony J. LaPorta, MD, FACS, Course Director of Military Track; and Deidre McGee, Military Track and Surgical Simulation Coordinator. “We are proud to have impacted the viability of mother and child in such a scenario,” said Dr. Carter.

“[SD Grob] and I reflected on how powerful it was to see trained medical professionals and teams in the field and [trauma center] work together in a critical situation,” said SD Kauppinen. While the cesarean simulation was devastating to see, she found it exciting to see the efforts of first responders and medical personnel to develop best practices and improve patient outcomes.

At the end of the simulations, a debrief was held to gather logistical information and assess deficits in how first responders and hospitals handled the active shooter threat. The debrief identified areas of improvement, such as not having a system to keep track of twins during a multiple birth and blood bank shortages during a mass transfusion protocol. Ultimately, the drill helped to develop best practices for the participating hospitals and trained over 700 first responders and 160 medical personnel, including surgeons, nurses, and hospital administrators.

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