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Mass Casualties in Connecticut

kmattox surg60 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 8 14:07:20 GMT 2010

Thx Ron.  The "system" then did NOT work.  Trans state jeolosy.  


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-----Original Message-----
From: "Gross, Ronald" <Ronald.Gross at baystatehealth.org>
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 2010 08:09:04 
To: 'KMATTOX at aol.com'<KMATTOX at aol.com>; trauma-list at trauma.org<trauma-list at trauma.org>
Cc: asher_hirshberg at yahoo.com<asher_hirshberg at yahoo.com>; hoxhaj at bcm.tmc.edu<hoxhaj at bcm.tmc.edu>; redstart at aol.com<redstart at aol.com>; ccm-l at list.pitt.edu<ccm-l at list.pitt.edu>
Subject: RE: Mass Casualties in Connecticut

Unfortunately I was off line yesterday, but followed the news carefully while hauling horses from one part of CT to another.  Yesterday was a test of the CT disaster response system, and it appears that our system worked well.  Incident Command systems went up quickly, the CT Armory EOC was activated by the Governor, and within minutes we saw a coordinated response from the many pre-hospital providers, Middletown police and fire, the State Police, and USAR and HASMAT crews across the state.  The good news is that the hundreds feared injured or dead was far and away from the actual numbers.  While only 12 were injured, sadly 5 perished.
What I found interesting is that when I was notified of the explosion, I called up to Baystate Medical Center, where I am now working.  Many of you may remember that I had worked at Hartford Hospital, and the CT COT and State Trauma Committees worked hard to pull together a very comprehensive statewide trauma system that is based on the involvement of the ACS COT verified and state designated trauma centers.  Interestingly, because Baystate Medical Center is only 7 miles north of the CT/MA border it is in fact the third Level I Trauma Center in the CT trauma system.  While the ED was put on notice by a call from me, we were not needed, and were never "formally" notified by the CT EOC.

At first blush I would say the system worked.  There will be AAR's I am sure, and we will see what improvements need to be made, but we shall see.  On the human side, the actual accounting of who was at the plant is still on-going; unfortunately USAR teams are still searching the site for any more survivors....or fatalities.


From: KMATTOX at aol.com [mailto:KMATTOX at aol.com]
Sent: Sunday, February 07, 2010 6:07 PM
To: KMATTOX at aol.com; trauma-list at trauma.org
Cc: ccm-l at list.pitt.edu; asher_hirshberg at yahoo.com; redstart at aol.com; nmcswai at tulane.edu; Gross, Ronald; hoxhaj at bcm.tmc.edu
Subject: Re: Mass Casualties in Connecticut

By 6 PM EST the mayor of the city of the location of the plant cited that there are 5 dead and 12 injured, much lower than the announced mass casualty of a couple of hours ago.


In a message dated 2/7/2010 4:48:16 P.M. Central Standard Time, KMATTOX at aol.com writes:
Shortly before noon today an apparent gas explosion rocked a plant just outside of Hartford Connecticut.   At least 2 persons are dead, with more projected to be found, and upwards of 100 are injured, although there are estimates to be upwards of 200, but as always the initial reports are often incorrect.    Ambulances and helicopters and many rescue workers are on the scene all afternoon, as the weather appeared to improve over the previous days.
I have often congratulated the state of Connecticut, its trauma programs, its EMS programs and its disaster planning as all of the emergency preparedness programs are created under the state wide trauma program and many of the competing EMS/Trauma/Public Health/ Disaster agencies seen in other states are integrated in Connecticut.   I am aware of numerous trauma programs in relative close proximity in this relatively small state.
Described as a Mass Casualty, this is a good test of this integrated program.   We all look forward to a detailed description of the system, and its operation to be available to others who are developing their disaster programs.     Ironically, the state sponsored and instructed systems of Connecticut and Massachusetts are very different.
>From a EMS, Trauma, and critical care standpoint this explosion will  serve to fill in some numbers regarding base incidence, triage, distribution to facilities and testing of SURGE capacities.
 It was ironic that within 4 hours of the explosion, very little ongoing press was happening,  evening on CNN.
K Mattox

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