Mass Casualty Incidents: Is Nashville Prepared?

Posted at 10:44 PM, Oct 03, 2017

No one wakes up wanting to hear about another mass shooting in our country. At the Orthopaedic Trauma department at Vanderbilt University Medical Center doctors prepare for the worst. 

Dr. Manny Sethi, who treated two of the seven victims hurt in the Antioch Church shooting, recalled getting ready to leave work that morning.

"I was walking out of the building and suddenly my pager went off multiple times about these multiple shooting incidents," he said. 

Sethi has worked as a surgeon for eight years at Vanderbilt. He said generally when patients come in, his team will triage the situation. 

"If you're stable but need more acute attention then somebody else will take you to another place. If you can wait then they'll kind of put you in a line and you'll go back when you can," he said.

He called the Antioch church shooting horrific but was proud of how the situation was handled behind the scenes.

"I was able to take a patient from the minute they were presented to the ER, to the operating room in under say an hour and hour and a half," he said.

A week after the church shooting, Sethi watched the Las Vegas massacre unfold.

When asked if a shooting like that were to happen in Nashville, would hospitals here be ready for it, Sethi responded, "When you have that many patients coming at you 400 patients I don't think any place is necessarily going to be ready for that. Do I think Vanderbilt is going to be amongst the top in the nation that would be, yes," he said. 

In his field...Sethi said his faith gets him through these tough times.

"As we talk about these victims in Las Vegas, each one of these folks has a mom, dad, brother, sister, wife and a husband and their life has been forever changed and I think for a moment we should just pray for them and think of them and keep them in our thoughts," he said.

It's also his trust in the VUMC trauma team that makes him love helping others.