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Aspirus workers in Wausau train to handle mass casualty events

Wyatt Williams
WAOW Television

Nurses bounced from patient to patient. Doctors checking on multiple injured simulated victims as they called out for help.

While it may have looked like a chaotic scene, the crew at Aspirus in Wausau were in control Thursday during a mass casualty training.

The training was to be prepared in case a harrowing event takes place locally.

"If you have an increased amount of patients coming into your system that takes a lot more resources, above and beyond the day to day resources," said Andrea Hebert, Performance Improvement Nurse. So, we need to make sure that we are ready to go at any time so if there is any event in our community we can handle it."

As a massive flow of people comes in, the team must stabilize patients and assess further damage.

"In these events you have different levels of acuity of people who come in some people are severely injured, some people are not as injured the important thing in the ED is we identify which category they're in, get people to surgery that need it, get people imaging that need it quickly, and any emergency interventions," said Andrew Stoltze MD, Aspirus Emergency Medicine Physician,

So, what are the steps taken with each patient in this situation?

They relied on 37 volunteers, cosmetics, and medical staff to make this mock disaster as real as possible.

"We've been using nursing students, some of our family members," Hebert said. Wausau East high school students who've all been moulaged, where they put makeup on and they act their part. Once we set the scene and the motion said, this is what happened: patients have to come in either via ambulance, maybe they're driving themselves in or having a parent come in and bring them."

Following the exercise, the staff grouped together to talk about what worked and what didn't, and how to respond more efficiently to a disaster they hope never happens.

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