By Alicia Neaves
ODESSA - All who were injured from the deadly accident in Penwell were rushed through the emergency room doors at Medical Center Hospital. In just a matter of minutes, the number of trauma patients went from two to five.
"This is planned out years in advance of how we're going to react to a situation like this, or even a bigger situation," Dr. Sudip Bose, Emergency Medicine Physician at Medical Center Hospital, said.
Five trauma patients were rushed to Medical Center Hospital from Wednesday morning's accident. Officials tell say among the injured were one staff member of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and four are inmates. One was in serious condition, the other four were in critical condition until just before six Wednesday evening, where the staff member was released and taken to University Medical Center in Lubbock.
Brad Timmons, the Chief of Police of the Ector County Hospital District, says immediately after receiving word that several trauma patients are en route to the hospital, per standard protocol, they place the Emergency Room on Controlled Access, so emergency personnel can get to and from the patients as quickly as possible.
"We have electronic locks and officers posted at the doors to help our visitors and patients come in and out," Timmons said.
Dr. Bose added training for incidents like this happens every year, throughout the year, and additional resources to help with an influx of trauma patients are aplenty.
"There are more surgeons that can come in. there are more physicians that can staff the emergency room. There are more nurses that can come in. We can tap into these resources and that's what we tapped into today," Bose said.
With controlled access to these trauma patients and constant training, Dr. Bose says the duties of each medical professional are equally important as they work to save lives in the only level two trauma hospital in the area.
"The techs drying the blood are just as important as the surgeon doing the operation, who is just as important as the administrative nurse that is coordinating everyone," Bose said.