This is why Broward Health officials say they were prepared to care for school shooting victims

Physicians and staff at two Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Broward Health hospitals were able to care for victims of the mass shooting Feb. 14 at Parkland, Fla.-based Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in part because of previous incidents and research released on such events, according to WUSA 9.

Seventeen individuals were killed in the shooting Wednesday. Sixteen patients involved in the incident, including the shooting suspect, Nikolas Cruz, were treated at either Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Broward Health North or Fort Lauderdale-based Broward Health Medical Center, according to the report.

Jerry Brooks, MD, CMO of emergency services for Broward Health, told WUSA 9 clinicians were able to adequately treat victims of the shooting because the health system has conducted emergency mass casualty drills on a more routine basis following a mass casualty incident at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport a little over a year ago.

"We try to stay ahead of the curve and the Fort Lauderdale [airport] mass casualty incident was a learning experience and we felt really good about the response," said Dr. Brooks. "We ramped up with exercises and code green [mass casualty] drills. We used that information to try to make the response for any further mass casualties better. So it definitely helped."

Dr. Brooks also noted research articles published after the mass shooting in Las Vegas last October that left 58 dead and hundreds of others injured were also instrumental in helping physicians and staff nationwide learn to prepare for such events.

"[The research] was a learning tool that I used to teach the trauma center medical directors in the system to have a plan, have it ready and make changes when things occur," Dr. Brooks said.

He added the fact that not all patients arrived at the same time, which also helped clinicians manage the victims' care, according to the report.

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