How this Cincinnati trauma center responded to city's worst mass shooting since 2013

After a shooting erupted at the Fifth Third Center in Cincinnati Sept. 6, University of Cincinnati Medical Center emergency providers sprang into action within 10 to 15 minutes of getting a call from first responders, The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

"This is something we can only do at a hospital like this," said Amy Makley, MD, a trauma surgeon and the medical center's trauma medical director. The medical center is the region's only level 1 trauma center, providing the most intensive care for the most critical injuries. 

A man shot five people, and three died, making it the city's worst mass shooting since 2013. The two other victims are recovering at the medical center, including a patient who was shot 12 times. Police shot and killed the gunman.

The 10 to 15 minutes of notice of the ambulance arrivals Sept. 6 "allowed us to activate our highest-tiered response, with all our resources, the operating rooms, the trauma unit, the ICU, our emergency medicine teams, nurses, even our blood bank," Dr. Makley said.

By the time the patients arrived, 70 to 80 healthcare workers had gathered in the trauma center.

"We had the capability to handle even more patients than we received," Dr. Makley said. 

For the hospital, the incident highlighted the value of a head start. "I can't underscore how important that 10-to-15-minute prenotification was," said Dr. Makley. "That helped us to organize and turn what can sometimes be a chaotic situation into something that went very smoothly, a very organized, multitiered response, and that is because of the effort of our police, fire and first responders."

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