Emergency doctors say mock disaster helped prepare for Ottawa bus crash

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OTTAWA — Emergency physicians at the Ottawa Hospital say they were prepared for last week’s deadly bus crash by a recent mock disaster exercise.

Several surgeons and medical co-ordinators working in the emergency department Friday evening are sharing their experiences of dealing with the influx of injured survivors of the bus accident, which killed three people and injured 23 others.

Hospital officials declared a “Code Orange” shortly after they were alerted to the incident — a protocol used in large-scale disasters.

Dr. Manoj Lalu, the co-ordinating anesthesiologist in the ER that night, says he believes a Code Orange exercise in November improved patient outcomes on Friday.

Dr. Andrew Willmore, the hospital’s medical director for emergency management, believes the practice and changes the hospital made afterward helped ensure all the patients who arrived alive on Friday survived.

Several physicians said many surgeries were required that night, as many of those badly injured suffered trauma to their limbs.

The Canadian Press