Youngblood Medical Skills Lab helps stage mock disaster

Courtney McCain, BS, NREMT-P, standardized patient program coordinator, prepared a patient to take part in a mock disaster drill at the School of Medicine on Nov. 18.

A normally quiet hallway outside the School of Medicine’s Youngblood Medical Skills Lab turned into a chaotic disaster scene for a short time Friday afternoon, Nov. 18. Area health professionals worked as a team to triage victims injured in the aftermath of an explosion and shooting.

The entire scene, which lasted less than an hour, was actually a mass casualty disaster drill conducted as a part of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHHS) preparedness trauma-training program.

Similar preparedness training courses are conducted at locations throughout the state said Dena Higbee, director of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine’s Russell D. and Mary B. Shelden Clinical Simulation Center. Higbee and the UM-Columbia simulation center coordinate the disaster training program for the DHSS.

A medical response team of eight area health professionals including EMTs, nurses and paramedics participated in the simulation with nearly 20 volunteer disaster victims who scattered in the hallway of the School of Medicine basement outside the medical skills lab. The medical response team was given few details about the scene then told to triage the victims and move them into the skills lab, which was a set up as a trauma emergency area.

“We want to spread the knowledge of how to be prepared for a disaster,” Higbee said. “(Disasters) are getting closer to home. The Joplin tornado made people aware that it can happen here. It’s been very timely for the DHSS to be putting on this training program.”

The drill was the one of the final pieces of a two-day course in multiple/mass casualty training. The DHSS offers 12 different courses to health care professionals in disaster preparedness. Health care professionals receive continuing medical education credits for participating in the course.

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