A rural community in the face of trauma.

In trauma, every minute counts.

On February 2nd, 2018, local EMS received a 911 call for a head-on collision including a minivan carrying two adults and six unrestrained children, and a coach bus. The Code Orange saw eight major trauma patients – six of whom were under 16 years old – six patients with traumatic brain injuries requiring intubation, eight femur fractures, and three patients with intrabdominal bleeding. Six pediatric patients were transferred to tertiary hospitals by air and land.

On that day, CGMH staff, Criticall and ORNGE, coordinated the single largest deployment event of paramedics, helicopters, fixed wing aircraft and land ambulance crews in the province’s history.

Two fixed wing air ambulances based in Thunder Bay and Sioux Lookout happened to be in southern Ontario at the time and were diverted to the Collingwood airport.  Ornge also sent three land ambulance units including the Critical Care Transport Unit with Toronto Paramedic Services.  Three helicopters from Ornge’s Toronto and London bases were dispatched.

In under an hour, six separate emergency health care agencies were working in tandem to provide critical prehospital emergency care.

Despite their life-threatening injuries, all eight patients survived to be discharged from hospital and the CEO of SickKids Hospital credited the CGMH for the lifesaving care provided. And although faced with substandard and cramped infrastructure lacking resources and equipment, it was our team’s preparedness and our culture of familiarity with trauma that delivered the very best patient outcomes possible.

“Watching our healthcare team come together in crisis was truly inspiring and a moment in my ED nursing career that I will never forget. It was an ‘all hands on deck’ experience in the most true sense.”
– Jessica Smith, RN & Clinical Educator for CGMH

Air Response: Anatomy of a mass casualty incident:
The textbook definition of a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) is an event where the number of patients vastly exceeds the resources of what the local health care resources can provide over a short period of time. Not all MCIs look the same, but this equation is constant. For Ornge, Ontario’s provider of air ambulance and related services, such an event puts all aspects of the operation suddenly to the test. On February 2, 2018 a coach bus carrying a group of high school students was travelling…  Continue reading.

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