Surgeon to share Pulse mass casualty lessons at 2017 Erlanger Trauma Symposium


William S. Havron III, MD, a member of the team that treated victims of last summer’s Pulse nightclub shooting, will deliver the keynote address at the 2017 Erlanger Trauma Symposium. The event takes place June 1 and 2 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Dr. Havron is the surgical residency program director and a trauma surgeon at Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC), which received 44 victims of the shooting on June 12 last year. In his symposium presentation, Dr. Havron will share several lessons on mass casualty readiness and incident management:

1. The importance of preparedness

“Number one, you need to realize that no one is immune from this kind of incident,” Dr. Havron said. To maintain preparedness, ORMC conducts weekly trauma drills to train residents and staff. The hospital also participates in an annual regional mass casualty drill.

“Just a few months before the shooting we had our yearly drill, and this year we did an active shooter drill with mass casualties,” he said. “So we had practiced this several months before it actually occurred.”

2. Appropriate utilization of resources

Medical supplies are a key element of surge capacity. However, many hospitals do not maintain adequate supply inventories for mass casualty incidents.

“We have a storage room full of supply carts filled with everything we need during a mass casualty incident,” Dr. Havron said. “Depending on the need, we roll out the appropriate carts.”

3. A clear chain of command

“It is critical that you have someone labeled as the person in charge,” Dr. Havron said. This should be a clinical leader empowered to coordinate the entire response.

“It is also important to have a command center where all disciplines are represented,” he said. “And that should include hospital administration, the surgical group, the ER group, nursing, all the way to environmental services, because you need someone in the room to help coordinate resource utilization.”

4. The value of a good team

“On the night of the shooting, we called in multiple surgeons and multiple residents, and the response from the hospital — nursing, OR staff, ER staff — was just incredible,” Dr. Havron said. “Everybody who was available presented. That team effort is what allowed us to provide that level of care to that number of people.”

Full range of trauma and critical care topics

The Erlanger Trauma Symposium will also feature Karen McQuillan, MS, RN, clinical nurse specialist at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. During her talk on “Courageous Care”, McQuillan will speak about “the transformational power of courage” and how healthcare providers can use their innate courage to become catalysts for change.

During Day 1 of the symposium, expert faculty will cover a wide range of injury care topics for both hospital and prehospital providers:

  • Where Interventional Radiology and Trauma Meet (Steven Quarfordt, MD)
  • Targeting Media Violence in Prevention of Mass Murder (Caleb M. Steffen, MD)
  • Hospital Preparedness in Uncertain Times (Kyle W. Cunningham, MD)
  • Management of Acute Spinal Cord Injuries (Karen A. McQuillan, MSN)
  • Pediatric Dog Attacks: Human Nurture or Dog Nature? (Caleb M. Steffen, MD)
  • General and Orthopaedic Trauma: Agree to Disagree (Philip W. Smith, MD and Dirk Kiner, MD)
  • Rib Fracture Management (Robert A. Maxwell, MD)
  • Pediatric Pre-Hospital Resuscitation for Trauma (Dave Bhattacharya, MD)
  • Gluteal Compartment Syndrome (Hunter Rooks, MD)
  • Jump Park Injuries (Jesse Doty, MD)
  • Medical Improvisation (David Wharton, MD)
  • Trauma in Pregnancy (Sudave Mendiratta, MD)
  • Interesting Cases Session: Cardiac Injuries (Mary Kathryn Huddleston, MD, Joshua Piotrowski, NREMT-P, William Lee, MD and Alan Hyde, MD)

Day 2 will focus on cadaver and skills labs designed to teach and reinforce core concepts in trauma care. Attendees will rotate through four different 1.5-hour stations covering:

  • Airway management, gross anatomy/vascular access, trauma injury interventions
  • Surgical interventions, hazmat considerations, crush injuries and acute care
  • Obstetric and pediatric trauma simulations, “The Trauma Challenge”
  • Damage control resuscitation, ventilator management

Register to attend

This year’s Erlanger Trauma Symposium is the tenth annual event. It will take place in the Chattanooga Convention Center, and reduced room rates are available at the Chattanooga Marriott.

Attendees are eligible to receive continuing education credits. Anticipated CMEs/CEUs include approximately 7 hours on Day 1 and 6 hours on Day 2.

For more information about the event, visit the Erlanger Trauma Symposium web page.

To sign up to attend, please visit the conference registration page.

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