Fox 4: Disaster drill gives first responders chance to self-evaluate
Kansas City`s medical emergency community met the would-be challenge at the Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport.
In this made-up scenario, metro first responders greeted a military C-130 aircraft, which according to the script, flew in 35 patients who`d been involved in an earthquake in Tennessee, and many of these injured people were said to be experiencing symptoms of radiation sickness.
That big military medical flight actually flew in from a military base in Wisconsin, and the doctors and nurses from the metro examined the patients -- both volunteers, who served as the walking wounded, as well as plastic medical dummies -- and then, routed them to local hospitals for treatment.
Emergency medical techs from the Kansas City Fire Department carried patients from the airplane into one of the airport's garages, which was transformed into a temporary triage center, filled with the noise of a busy hospital emergency room.
Zack Bradley, emergency manager for the Veteran Health Administration, served as coordinator for the drill that involved more than 200 people. Bradley said the likelihood of such a scenario happening is unlikely, but the same plans of attack are used by medical response professionals during tornado and hurricane recovery efforts.
"One of the things we've done here is to establish a joint information system where the public affairs and public information officers from the various participating facilities have come together," Bradley said.
Radiation sickness experts were strong pieces of Wednesday's puzzle. Dr. Ibrahim Ahmed, a bone marrow specialist with Children's Mercy Hospital, explained that patients undergoing bone marrow procedures often display the same symptoms as radiation illness patients would.
"The risk of infection is up top on everything. Anyone who is needing urgent or emergent care for fluids or antibiotics, it's really important to manage it at the right time," Ahmed told FOX 4.
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Learn more about the Children's Mercy Cancer Center.