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Scenario testing at hospital prepares staff for 'external disaster'

The scenario saw five high priority patents brought into the ED requiring treatment relating to an opioid overdose
code orange (1)
Staff from Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, County of Simcoe Paramedic Services and Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit prepare for mock patients to arrive during the Code Orange exercise. Supplied photo
Testing the hospital’s ability to respond to a mass casualty event was the focus of a mock Code Orange exercise at OSMH on Thursday, June 12. 

A Code Orange is an external disaster which has the potential to overwhelm the hospital’s ability to provide service. OSMH has a formalized emergency response for these events should they occur. The mock Code Orange exercise on Thursday was meant to test the readiness of the organization and to find any learning opportunities in the process.

The scenario saw over five high priority patients brought into the hospital’s emergency department requiring treatment relating to an opioid overdose that happened at a house party. The scenario was used as a plausible event, as it is seen widely in Ontario emergency rooms. The growing issues surrounding opioid mortality and morbidity in the region makes this training exercise very relevant to all providers. 

“This was a great practice scenario not only for the hospital, but also for the County of Simcoe Paramedic Services and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. It was truly a great team collaborative success for all of us,” said Melanie Moore the Co-Chair of OSMH’s Emergency Preparedness committee.

The exercise took up most of Thursday morning and almost all departments in the hospital have a role in a scenario such as this, with a majority of the events happening in the emergency department.

“This is a great way for us to learn and prepare in case we are ever in a serious situation such as the one we practiced for today. All teams did a fantastic job and this better positons us to face these events going forward.” Said Carmine Stumpo, OSMH President and CEO.

OSMH continually works to improve its response to any emergency situations through their emergency preparedness committee. This allows the hospital to ensure continuity of care regardless of other external factors that may arise.