Israeli Trauma Nurse Shares Emergency Room Experiences

[Akron Beacon Journal] Tracy Wheeler - Zmora Zohar, a trauma nurse at Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya, Israel, has seen mass casualties. Last summer, after a rocket attack launched by Hizbullah from Lebanon, her emergency department was told to expect three victims with minor shrapnel wounds. "Suddenly the E.D. is full of people screaming, with shrapnel wounds, and I was the only nurse there," she told members of the Stark County Emergency Preparedness Health Care Planning Committee at Aultman Hospital on Tuesday. "No doctors, no other nurses." At Western Galilee Hospital, everyone knew their role, she said, thanks to "many, many drills." The first rule of making a plan is following the plan, she said. Next, call in staffers and evacuate patients from E.D. before victims arrive. Get necessary equipment (fluids, bandages, tubes) by the E.D. beds. Line up stretchers at the emergency entrance, where triage teams will sort patients by the severity of their injuries. Registration teams will also be at the entrance to take down names or to take photographs of children and the unconscious so relatives can identify them at the information center, which will be set up away from the emergency department. In mass-casualty situations, medical care changes, she said. The goal is not "optimal care," but rather "minimal acceptable care." "Save those you can," she said. "As many as you can, as fast as you can." In July, a Hizbullah rocket hit Zohar's 700-bed hospital. All hospital operations moved to its underground facility.

2007-05-18 01:00:00

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