Clinicians issue guidance for responding to a mass shooting

Clinicians who responded to six mass shootings in recent years have developed recommendations based on lessons they learned to support other healthcare facilities in treating victims. 

The consensus recommendations, published July 18 in Journal of the American College of Surgeons, are based on a conference in September 2021 that brought together clinicians from Orlando, Fla.; Las Vegas; Sutherland Springs,Texas; Parkland, Fla.; El Paso, Texas; and Dayton, Ohio — all places where mass shootings that have killed more than 15 people have occurred since 2016. 

The recommendations include: routine training activities that mirror actual events; prior education to ensure patients are brought to the right hospitals for care; a staged and iterative triage process at the scene; effective communication between on-scene clinicians and those at hospitals; and a patient tracking system from the point-of-injury through all subsequent care. 

"We recognized that mass shootings are frequent events that occur in the United States and wondered if we could learn more about how to optimize response to these incidents," said lead study author Craig Goolsby, MD, professor and vice chair of the department of military and emergency medicine at Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Md., and science director of the National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health. "We identified a group of recent mass shootings and then invited clinicians who participated in the healthcare response — EMS clinicians, emergency physicians and surgeons — to participate in our conference." 

To read more about the guidance, click here

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