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Tampa General Hospital reviews emergency plan after mass shooting

Posted at 4:35 AM, Oct 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-03 07:17:34-04

Local hospitals in the Bay Area continue learning from tragedies like the mass shootings in Las Vegas and the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. Tampa General Hospital is a trauma 1 facility which means they treat the most serious of injuries. 

How officials at the hospital prepare for mass casualty situations is ever-changing, and after Pulse, it was tweaked again - a big lesson learned was how to better streamline patients and get them treated quickly, while managing the crowd that comes along with people that are injured.  

"This may change from the last event that you practiced for. And understand that you got to triage and change your plans as you go to be able to meet the needs of whatever that specific disaster might be," said Tony Venezia, the Security Emergency Management Director at Tampa General Hospital.  

"I can’t imagine the carnage and the first responder's trying to figure out who to take care of first," said Peter Logli, who decided to donate blood after watching the Las Vegas shooting play out on the news. "I’m very sad to see something like this happen," he said.

"We kind of go into a quasi-lockdown at the hospital," said Venezia.  

The parking garage below the emergency department at Tampa General is designed to handle hundreds of patients after a major event - doctors and nurses start assessing people as they come in - sending them to color-coded areas based on their injuries. 

They also have supplies, like blood donations stocked up and work with organizations like One Blood if they need more.

"For the first responders I think they are training and stuff is very important and I’m heartened to know that the hospitals are prepared for these kinds of things," said Logli.

One Blood says it's so important for folks to donate throughout the year because it takes 24 hours for blood to be tested for viruses, which means donating after a tragedy doesn't immediately help the victims. 

They say after the Pulse nightclub shooting, their donors tripled... but 50 percent of those new donors haven't been back since. 

If you are interested in donating blood, visit www.oneblood.org for donor center hours and blood drive locations.