Is SA prepared to respond to mass casualty event similar to Orlando shooting?

SA medical officials confident city could handle mass casualty event

SAN ANTONIO – Area medical officials are confident San Antonio would be able to handle a mass casualty event similar to the Orlando shootings.

If there were to be a catastrophic event in South Texas, a trauma system would be ready to handle the situation. 

Although it would be chaos, Dr. Brian Eastridge, the trauma medical director at University Hospital, said, “it will be controlled.”

San Antonio has several advantages. The city is home to two Level 1 trauma centers, University Hospital and San Antonio Military Medical Center.

If a mass casualty event were to take place, one of the first things to happen would be calls to essential personnel.

“If a situation were to arise that we were exceeding our capability to manage the patient load, we would basically activate an MCI, mass casualty incident, through the hospital," said Eastridge.

The MCI would bring in additional doctors, nurses and operating room personnel. There would be coordination between the two hospitals.

There would also be an incident commander on scene to direct those transporting victims, EMTs or even civilians.

Not all patients would need to go to a trauma center so they would be directed to other hospitals in the area.

When it comes to caring for those patients, another advantage in South Texas is many medical personnel in the area have military combat experience. 

"We have been in mass casualty situations on the battlefield," said Eastridge.

Those situations will help keep San Antonio prepared. "As well as anybody can be prepared, San Antonio is prepared," said Eastridge.

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