The study is about simulating a mass casualty incident by the paramedic students. The incident will help the students to understand how to handle and react during such an emergency. The first part of the study is a reflection of the incident, which will point out the various aspects from the perspective of an emergency responder. The incident goes by as; a car has crashed in a busy shopping mall and killed 3 people and injured several. The scene is completely chaotic and the paramedic team reaches the spot to bring the scene under control. The second part of the study contains suggestions and recommendations regarding the actions of the paramedic team. It points out the various flaws in the course of action of the paramedic team and some ways to improve them.
Definition of the issue
The issue is mass casualty scenario where a car has crashed inside a busy shopping mall. Due to this terrible accident three people has died along with several others injured. The driver of the car was in Diabetic Syndrome. The shopping mall is one of the major shopping malls in the city so this can be a terrorist attack on a smaller scale (Rheem, Choi, Kwak & Oh, 2016). Although without proper investigation, the reason is not clear. After the incident occurred, the emergency response team reached the scene. In my opinion, the emergency team was quite slow dealing with the patients. The emergency response team followed the complete triage process (Marshall, 2018). When the emergency team responded there was a power cut at the scene and some people were stuck inside (Wardani, 2011). I could see that the people who were stuck inside were completely terrified and they were screaming for help. The car crash has also done a huge structural damage as the car went gushing through the mall rampaging people and the shops (Hughey & Becken, 2016).
The response team came into the scene and found that there was a power cut in the scene. They tried to look into the situation using torches. It was very essential to get the power back to help the victims. The emergency team brought back the power and started evacuating the place. After evacuating, the people who were stuck inside, the evacuation team turned towards the injured victims ("7 Disaster Preparedness | Hospital-Based Emergency Care ...", n.d.). The evacuation of the injured victims within code red and yellow took quite some time. The situation was quite chaotic and the emergency personnel were rushing around the place to calm the people and treat the victims (KantaKafle, 2017). I am a part of the paramedic’s team on the spot. Therefore, the paramedic team decides to follow the triad system to treat the victims, as there were a large number of casualties (Baraniuk, 2015). The paramedic team decided to put up two tents outside the mall on the field. They put up a yellow tent for the injured victims and a red tent for the deceased ones. The victims who were alive were under terrible shock (Rheem et al., 2016). Therefore, in this case the decision of putting up both the tents side by side was not a clever idea. The injured patients were already under a psychological trauma and some of them were even having panic attacks. In this scenario, looking at the sight of the deceased will further worsen their condition (Jacobs, 2018). The planning of the entire process took a lot of time, which in turn delayed the treatment of the victims. The other victims who were not severely injured and had minor sprains and cuts were also provided first aid. They were all seated together and I could see that two paramedic personnel were attending to their issues (Indan et al., 2018). Although, the first aid could have been provided to them much before and cleared off the area to decrease the chaos (Jeung, Hong & Kim, 2015). The severely injured victims mainly had fractures in their legs, arms and shoulders. The health professionals who were attending the tents, made sure that they diagnosed the condition of each patient properly, their wounds were plastered, and their minor wounds were dressed properly. After providing their initial treatment, they were sent to the nearest hospital for further diagnosis and care. Meanwhile, two other health professionals started providing first aid to the others victims with minor wounds. In my opinion, they could have provided the first aid much faster and evacuated the place to decrease the crowd accumulated at the site.
The nature and extent of the issue
Environmental Scan approach on the topic
Current Planning Approaches
Internal stakeholders: the disaster, which took place, was a man-made disaster so in this case, the internal stakeholders are the victims who were trapped inside the site of the accident (Hansen, 2017). The paramedic team will have to prioritize the internal stakeholders and help them first to handle the situation(Kaiser and Leon, 2017). The transportation of the victims was quite slow, leaving the patients to suffer more.
External stakeholders: the external stakeholders were the victims who could escape the accident barely, were psychologically traumatized and had minor wounds. In my opinion, the external stakeholders of the situation were not so important as the internal stakeholders as their situation was much less severe than the internal stakeholders who could not even move (Dehghani et al., 2015). The external stakeholders were provided with first aid and the paramedic personnel calmed them down.
Strategic Thinking from a future perspective
The internal and the external stakeholders were very important for the paramedic team to handle. The site of the disaster was extremely messy and full of chaos as people were screaming for help and they were stuck there. The outside of the building was nothing less as people have gathered to watch what was happening and there were other victims also who had minor injuries or barely escaped (Lozupone, 2017). A few changes, which are required to be made in future while handling any mass-casualty situation is that the evacuation process should be done first. The evacuation process must be much faster than the present disaster. During the evacuation process, part of the team should be busy setting up tents for the treatment of the patients (Marshall, 2014). The tents in this disaster were not placed correctly according to the convenience of the patients. The yellow tent was placed beside the deceased tent, which could have started more chaos and panic and would have affected the victim’s mental condition. The paramedic team should have brought in more personnel given the severity of the situation (Morgan & Smith, 2014).
Response to the questions
Role of health professional in the scenario
The scenario is a disaster site with mass-casualties and a number of injured victims. In this scene, the health professional plays a vital role in bringing down the situation under control. The situation is extremely chaotic as the people who were victims of the crash or the ones who escaped the disaster nearly are in extreme form of shock. As I have a past degree in Public health along with a good knowledge in pharmacy, I can be helpful for the paramedic team. The car crashed inside a busy shopping mall killing three people and heavily injuring eight others. The condition of the eight patients is quite severe and their diagnosis is unknown (?.D, 2015). My first job as a health professional is to securely transport the patients from the disaster site to the tents outside. With the help of some of my other colleagues, I transported the victims one by one on stretcher to the yellow tent. After the transportation process, the victims were calmed first by the medical professionals and then the victims were thoroughly examined for fractures or any other internal damage (Farra, Smith &Bashaw, 2016). The eight victims mainly had fracture issues in hands, shoulder and legs. Therefore, for an instant relief their fractures were plastered and they were given some morphine to ease their pain (Rheem, Choi, Kwak& Oh, 2016). After the initial treatment by the paramedic team, they were sent to the nearest hospital for further checkups and treatment. The victims were shell-shocked so they were also recommended counselors to overcome their mental trauma (Farra & Bashaw, 2016).
Response of the professional
During the occurrence of the disaster, the response of the health professionals should be quick and accurate to measure the vulnerability. The scenario should be analyzed properly by the health professionals . Main focus should be given to the individuals who have maximum injuries from the disaster (Kaiser & Leon, 2017). It is important to response according to the demand of the situation (Du et al., 2015).The health professionals and the rescue professional should work in a coordinated way according to the disaster management plan along with a few modifications as per the situation (Baraniuk, 2015). The health professionals in the scenario were not quick enough in their evacuation process. When they reached the disaster site, they should be tried harder to calm the people and there should have been atleast one respondent beside the victim to calm him/her down and make them believe that the situation is over and they are safe. In reality, after the responding team reached the site, they did try to calm the situation; the victims were left on the floor, in pain, waiting for the health professional to take them out of the building. The patients were treated properly after they were transported to the tents. On the other hand, the victims who were not severely injured but required first aid were left to wait outside the building for a long time. The professionals seemed to discuss the management plan quite a lot rather than actually work on it (Kaszeta & Kaszeta, 2014).
The study can be concluded with the thought that the simulated event provided me with a real life experience and has made me realize that real situations are quite different from the classroom. There were certain mistakes while doing the triage procedure during the handling of the disaster but through this reflective study I have been able to understand them and correct them (Shaw, Shiwaku & Takeuchi, 2011).
Disaster management plan
The disaster management action plan is very much important for any kind of disaster. In the case it is seen that the disaster is and environmental disaster which is an earthquake (Marshall, 2014). There are actually four stages present in the disaster management plan that should be followed in a proper way (Indan, Roslee, Tongkun& Simon, 2018).
- Preparation: This is one of the most vital stages where preparation and assessment of the disaster is done in a proper manner. The risk assessment and the predication of the causalities are done in the preparation stage (Choi, Kwak& Oh, 2016). The preparation stage is the most important stage for the disaster management health professionals. Proper assessment of the situation will help in taking appropriate first aid kits for the injured victims in the earthquake. It is important to the gather right amount of tools like stretcher, safety jackets in the preparatory stage (Ajami&Akbari, 2015).
- Response: The response stage is the most important stage where through proper communication and team activity the action plan is implemented after the situation analysis is done properly. In the response stage communication between the rescue team and paramedic health team should be smooth for proper response (Alexander, 2018).
- Restoration: After providing the injured individuals with proper preliminary treatment is very much important to restore the situation(Merry, 2015). The individuals who have suffered severe physical injuries should be taken to the permanent nursing care where they should be treated to restore their health (Farra, Smith &Bashaw, 2016).
- Mitigation: This is one of the most important stage that showed be followed by the professionals. After the rescue mission the analysis of the disaster should be done to improve on the different components like communication pro activeness of the team member. The mitigation measures should be taken properly in place of the disasterto reduce vulnerability (Rheem, Choi, Kwak& Oh, 2016).
7 Disaster Preparedness | Hospital-Based Emergency Care ... Retrieved from https://www.nap.edu/read/11621/chapter/9
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