How to respond to mass shootings: 8 tips from experienced surgeons, providers


A group of surgeons, physicians and EMS clinicians who have responded to six mass shootings in the last five years have prepared response guidelines for providers. 

The group offered eight recommendations in a July study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons:

1. Readiness training: Regular, multidomain training activities which mirror the realism of actual events, to ensure readiness of the entire community system

2. Public education: Prior public education or immediate direction from web-based mapping programs about the appropriate hospitals to bring mass shooting incident patients for care

3. Triage: A staged and iterative triage process at the scene and emergency department that prioritizes operative care

4. Communication: Effective communication between prehospital personnel at the scene and hospitals

5. Patient tracking: A patient-tracking system that functions from point-of-injury through all subsequent healthcare

6. Medical records: Rehearsal with and rapid availability of alternative methods of patient care documentation and order entry

7. Family reunification: Rapid implementation of organized, well-communicated family reunification and assistance services

8. Mental health services: Tailored after-action mental health services for responding professionals

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