Local hospital talks trauma preparedness and lifesaving techniques

Gail Malloy of Wilkes-Barre General Hospital demonstrates proper technique for making a tourniquet

WOLF-TV (Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County)-It's a hospital's worst nightmare.

Hundreds of wounded victims with life-threatening injuries..all arriving at one time.

It's a phrase often heard surrounding incidents of mass casualties.

"I never thought something like this could happen here."

But the staff at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital knows tragedies can happen anywhere, and anytime.

Director of Security Chris Spangenberg has experience working with victims of 9/11, and knows all too well the chaos that ensues after a horrible incident like the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

"You're dealing with a lot of chaos and confusion, even with the first responders that arrive on the scene," said Spangenberg.

"So initially, you have to have people in charge who can designate these teams on where to go and what their purpose is."

Cheryl MacDonald-Sweet, Director of Trauma Services at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, says that all hospitals should have a plan in place for how to deal with the chaos of a mass casualty incident.

"Behind the scenes we're going through training on a continual basis with Emergency Management processes and procedures," said MacDonald-Sweet.

"That includes multiple entities, not just the hospitals, but the partnerships with EMS and the County Emergency Response System."

Gail Malloy, Head of Injury Prevention and Community Outreach for the trauma department at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital says that if you ever find yourself in a situation of a mass casualty, and you are able to help ,the most important thing you can learn how to do is "stop the bleed."

She explained how you can save someone's life by making a tourniquet on the fly with materials found around you.

"You can use something as simple as a belt, or a stick," said Malloy.

"In Boston, people used purses. They tightened up on someone's arm, and they just simply used a stick to twist it and turn it. If the wound is in an abdomen or somewhere else, get a cloth or a shirt, even the one you're wearing, and just stuff it in (the wound)."

Gail Malloy also gives demonstrations on life-saving techniques to local schools, groups, and organizations.

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