Hospitals in Connecticut prepare for disasters with drills - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hospitals in Connecticut prepare for disasters with frequent drills


Following the explosions at the finish line at the Boston Marathon, more than 170 people were injured and had to be rushed to area hospitals.

The situation in Boston has heightened the awareness at many hospitals in Connecticut, and officials assured Eyewitness News they would be ready.

"Every hospital hopes they're prepared," said Joseph Portereiko, of Hartford Hospital. "But what we've learned from yesterday, we will incorporate from our disaster planning again to modify that and really fine tune it. So we can take advantage of what they did in Boston and what they did right and the few things they did wrong."

Doctors at Hartford Hospital told Eyewitness News they're always learning from disasters that happen locally, nationally and overseas and taking that information to help improve our health system at home.

In the event of a traumatic scene such as what happened at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, the Hartford Hospital staff has a plan in place.

"We will bring triage out from inside the hospital to in front of the hospital, this way we can really get a sense of what's going on and the critically injured can be brought into where life saving equipment is," Portereiko said.

Officials at Hartford Hospital said it takes part in drills at least twice a year.

Yale-New Haven Hospital officials told Eyewitness News they hold drills throughout the year.

St. Francis Hospital told Eyewitness News they do drills monthly.

And most hospitals get local agencies involved too.

"For any level one trauma center, 22 people injured, 150 people injured, those are huge numbers, so it would require a lot of mutual assistance between hospitals, police, fire and other medical services in the area," said Sandra Brown of the Center for Emergency Preparedness at Hartford Hospital.

Hospitals in the region also come together every two to three years to test the state's hospital system. It's a way to keep everyone on their toes, officials said.

"The only way to find out is to drill, find our weaknesses and improve on them," Portereiko said. "We don't want to find these out in a case of a disaster."

Boston officials called Yale-New Haven Hospital to ask about their burn bed capacity.

Officials at Hartford Hospital said its facility was on standby to receive patients, but did not get any.

Both hospitals told Eyewitness News they were prepared and willing to help.

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