USC surgeons and staff participate in disaster preparedness course

Surgeons and acute care providers at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine received specialized training should a major disaster strike South Carolina.

On Dec. 7, more than 30 medical professionals participated in a disaster preparedness seminar hosted by USC’s Department of Surgery and Palmetto Health’s Trauma Services. The one-day training took place at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital.

The interactive course introduced USC surgeons and providers from across South Carolina to the roles each will play in planning for and responding to a mass casualty event. The seminar also defined the terms and concepts of the incident command system, provided strategies for triaging mass casualty victims and discussed surgical problems, injury patterns and complications that may result from disasters.

“Trauma surgeons and acute care providers are often the first medical providers to care for victims of a disaster,” said Stephen Smith, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Surgery at the School of Medicine. “Residents of South Carolina can rest assured that the training participants received from this seminar will pay dividends should a major disaster impact our state.”

The Disaster Preparedness Subcommittee of the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma developed the Disaster Management & Emergency Preparedness Course to help surgeons, acute care providers and first responders learn the necessary skills to effectively respond to mass casualties in a disaster.

This was the first time the course was offered in South Carolina.

Carol Gilbert, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Surgery at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute (pictured), was one of three instructors for the Disaster Management & Emergency Preparedness Course. Joining Gilbert were Drs. Smith and Leonard Weireter, professor of surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

December 11, 2012