BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Mass shootings are becoming more common and deadlier than ever, which is why Johns Hopkins Hospital is making sure its staff is ready.
More than 50 concertgoers were gunned down and hundreds injured in Las Vegas during a shooting rampage in October, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
The deadliest shooting in Texas came a few weeks later. The massacre at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, left 26 dead, including children and babies.
Each mass shooting means an influx of critically wounded patients being rushed to the hospital.
“Every day we treat patients that are injured, they’re shot, they’re stabbed they crash their car. We do that one at a time, all the time,” says Dr. Elliott Haut, Johns Hopkins Hospital trauma surgeon. “But we don’t deal with an influx of 10, 20, 30, 50 people at a time.”
This disparity in frequency is the reason Johns Hopkins Hospital conducted a trauma drill with the help of students from Eastern Technical High School who posed as patients. Many students say they aspire to one day work in the medical field.
“Getting them actual experience and exposure to what a hospital setting is like, and how to handles these kinds of disasters, can really help them evaluate the role that they want to play in the future,” says Patrick McConnell, science teacher at Eastern Technical High School in Baltimore County.
Though Baltimore hasn’t had any mass shootings or casualty numbers like in other parts of the country, some doctors tell WJZ Reporter Amy Yensi it’s not a matter of if, but when.
“We know it’s going to happen. It’s going to be our turn soon enough and we need to be ready for it,” Dr. Haut said.
Preparing to make split-second decisions can determine whether a victim is a casualty or survivor.