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Vanderbilt Medical Center talks preparedness following mass shooting

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It's been an emotional week for many Americans, grieving from another terrorist attack, and it has city and state leaders across the country asking themselves if they're prepared for this to happen again.

Vanderbilt Medical Center tells Fox17 it does have a mass casualty response plan in place, and last implemented it during Hurricane Katrina when the hospital took in hundreds of victims.

If disaster strikes, or in an event of an emergency, Vanderbilt would call in hundreds of doctors, nurses, support teams and administrators to help handle an influx of patients. The ER is expected to be fully operational and fully staffed in under two hours to handle an influx of patients. Vanderbilt routinely practices mass casualty drills and frequently updates protocols.

"As you get ready for them you realize how complicated it is. The registration, the triage, the tagging, the follow up in the hospital, activating radiology and the lab," Dr. Corey Slovis, Chairman Dept of Emergency Medicine, said. "Nobody ever acts perfectly in a disaster. We just try to be as prepared as we can-- and let it not be a surprise."

At any given time, Vanderbilt can admit 5 to 10 critically injured patients into the ER before calling in extra support staff. The hospital is a level one trauma unit and would be the lead hospital in the event of a mass casualty emergency.

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