Recommendations Issued for Medical Response to Mass Shootings

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 3, 2022 — In an article published online July 18 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, recommendations are presented for the medical and surgical management of mass shooting incidents.

Craig Goolsby, M.D., from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues held a consensus conference involving emergency medical services clinicians, emergency medicine physicians, and surgeons who provided medical response to six of the nation’s largest recent mass shootings to define the best health care response to mass shooting incidents. A three-round modified Delphi process was conducted, and consensus recommendations were generated.

The three specialty groups created eight consensus recommendations. These recommendations addressed regular readiness training; public education; a staged and iterative triage process; effective communication between prehospital personnel and hospitals; a patient tracking system; documentation and medical records; reunification of families; and mental health services for responders. An additional 11 recommendations were created by two subgroups each. These recommendations included trauma and/or other response training for clinicians; Stop the Bleed education; mass shooting triage protocol for prioritizing patient care; surgeon participation in emergency department triage; regionwide, coordinated hospital communications; and immediate systems to reach and recall staff.

“While mass shooting incidents are a shockingly common occurrence nationally, they are still unlikely to affect a given community on any particular day,” the authors write. “Information from this conference may help prehospital and health systems fill a preparedness gap for the unique challenges of a mass shooting.”

Abstract/Full Text

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