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Continued: At HCMC, a surprise drill in ER to deal with real emergencies

  • Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 13, 2014 - 9:00 PM

“Can you get him an IV since you’re standing there? Awesome.”

“His blood pressure’s 80s over 20s and his heart rate is 120.”

The residents treated a dozen patients in all.

Early on, third-year resident Matt Rau had stepped into the center of the room to become a triage traffic cop, rather than putting hands on the patients — a needed role. “You can definitely get bogged down in one patient. Because there’s a lot of things going on, you need … task delegation,” he said.

In a classroom after the drill, Hick praised Rau’s actions, but some things didn’t go so well.

The residents had let a dead patient take up needed space for 20 minutes during the drill. That patient had died from an untreated lung problem — tension pneumothorax.

Hick highlighted the condition as one of three that must be addressed in an emergency room. The others: opening airways and stopping the bleeding. Even with the fake patients and their friends acting injured, the residents were serious and attentive.

“When I got in there, it felt kind of real,” Rau said, admitting that he was nervous even though he appeared implacable. “We’ve been taught really well,” he said.

Hick had one more lesson for the residents. He held up a black backpack and asked, “What about this?”

No one responded. The pack had been dropped in the middle of the room early in the drill. Hick reminded them they were treating bomb victims.

“This might be a bomb,” he said, “Or it might be just a backpack.”

 

Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747 @rochelleolson

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