The worst case scenario is something members of the IU Health's Trauma Center prepare for. Whether it is a stage collapse at the State Fair or a mass shooting in Connecticut, trauma personnel are coached-up on how to deal with lives lost, and lives that still can be saved.
It was the celebration of a milestone for IU Health's Trauma Center, on one of the most traumatic events in U.S. history Friday.
Thirty-five patients, survivors of traumatic injury, returned to the center. They paid tribute to IU Health's Level I status. Only one other facility in the state holds that distinction.
"These people are who saved my life that night, so it is an honor to physically walk in here and thank everybody," said State Fair stage collapse survivor Andrea Vellinga.
Vellinga knows she's lucky to be alive. She was hurt during the State Fair stage collapse. She does not remember even being in the trauma center, but she knows all about her road to recovery.
"My parents say, 'Andrea you have come so far.' I did not believe them, then I looked at pictures and then it was like, 'Oh my gosh, I have come far,'" said Vellinga.
Larry Reed said trauma staff are constantly going through training on worst case scenarios.
¿"When you have had the training, experience, education, it is a job and you know how to do it and you've got professionals, team members around you to help you do it well," said Reed.¿
Reed said learning protocols and dealing with patients brought to the ER is one thing, but dealing with what is called the 'human element,' is a lot tougher.
¿"It is something that is very difficult to teach," said Reed. "How to talk to a family that has lost a loved one and it was not something that was expected, like other diseases are." ¿
IU Health's Trauma Center treats almost 3,600 patients every year. Reed said the staff will use the Connecticut shooting as a learning tool in Indianapolis.
Indy trauma center practices "worst case scenario"