Hospitals Respond to Casualties from Building Collapse


Ten people were taken to various hospitals following the fire and collapse at International Nutrition on Monday. The Medical Director for the Omaha Fire Department said although rare, this type of situation is something local hospitals are ready to handle.

Dr. P.J. Schenarts was at the scene Monday morning. He told WOWT 6 News as soon as the mass casualty alert went out, hospitals jumped into action. They called in additional staff, checked bed availability, and made general preparations for trauma patients.

"What you would expect to see is injuries to the chest, belly, really crush injuries, broken bones, things like that," said Dr. Schenarts. "Given the fact that this is an explosion with fire, inhalation injuries as well as burns would be expected too."

According to Dr. Schenarts, Nebraska Medical Center runs mass casualty drills twice a year. In fact, their last drill just a few months ago was a collapsed building drill.

Altogether, four patients were taken to the Nebraska Medical Center, along with a firefighter who has since been released. Alegent Creighton University Medical Center took in three patients; of those, two have been sent to the burn unit at St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Lincoln. Three more patients were taken to Bergan Mercy.


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