Denver hospital trains in case of nuclear or radioactive emergencies

Posted at 11:15 AM, Sep 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-21 14:48:38-04

DENVER -- Hospitals are constantly trying to be ready in case of a large-scale emergency like natural disasters or mass shootings. But what about something going nuclear or radioactive?

That's what Presbyterian/St. Luke's Hospital (PSL) trained for Wednesday.  

This was only a drill, but the situation was this: if something like a dirty bomb were to explode in Denver or if there were any massive radioactive exposure to the public, the patients would come to PSL to be treated. The hospital wants to be ready in case that ever happened. 

Fake patients donning makeup were triaged and treated through the use of a decontamination tent. 

Why St. Luke's?

They have a bone marrow transplant program that would be needed because many cases of radioactive exposure can go as deep as your bones. 

"Unfortunately, we live in a time of insecurity and by trying to prepare for an emergency by hoping it doesn't happen probably isn't the best strategy," Dr. Mark Brunvand of the Colorado Blood Cancer Institute said. "So what we're trying to do is develop strategies to minimize the injuries and maximize the survival after something happens." 

Hospital leaders are also taking part in a more cross country drill by discussing how other cities could provide help in the event of a mass casualty event. For example, how Denver could help Washington, D.C. by taking in patients


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