Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital ready to go in case of mass casualty incident

Roanoke Memorial: Only level 1 trauma center in Southwest Virginia

ROANOKE, Va. – Tragedies like the mass shooting in Las Vegas can leave hospitals overwhelmed with patients.

Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital has a thorough plan with crews ready to go just in case of a mass casualty incident.

“First, you have to rely on people doing the right thing. When you need this kind of volume of health care provider right now, because you have this kind of mass casualty incident, you have to know that people will drop everything and then come in,” said John Burtin, chair of emergency medicine.

The level 1 trauma center can treat the most severely injured trauma patients with the help of its partners.

“If we are overwhelmed with numbers, we will pull in other hospital systems in the area,” Burton said.

Medical specialists say trauma care at this level requires multitasking as well as close teamwork for every case.

This year, the hospital has been offering classes to the community on how to use tourniquets.

“It’s a national campaign that puts bleeding control in the bystanders' hands,” said Sarah Beth Dinwiddie, trauma outreach coordinator at the hospital.

Roanoke Memorial Hospital is the only level 1 trauma center in Southwest Virginia.