Westchester doctor looks back on Sandy Hook tragedy, says hospital is prepared for large-scale emergencies

Dr. Prabhakaran and his team have prepared since Sandy Hook for the unexpected to strike.

News 12 Staff

Dec 14, 2022, 10:24 PM

Updated 525 days ago

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On Dec. 14, 2012, Westchester Medical Center's trauma staff were on standby.
"For any victims that would have potentially come here, and we remained ready and waiting for any such tragedies to come our way," said Dr. Kartik Prabhakaran, chief of trauma and acute care surgery at WMC Health.
Unfortunately, they waited and waited but never received any Sandy Hook patients because the victims had all lost their lives at the school.
Dr. Prabhakaran and his team have always prepared since that day for the unexpected to strike.
"If anything, our past experiences have allowed us to make sure that we constantly fine-tune our mechanisms that we have in place," he says. 
This includes drills that are rehearsed several times a year.
The center also says it's important to ensure that regular people are also equipped to respond quickly. 
"By teaching classes of just 'stop The bleed,' so that even community dwellers, schoolteachers and students can apply tourniquets and engage in practices like CPR to save lives before patients even come to the hospital," says Prabhakaran.
Prabhakaran says the reality is - even 10 years later - these tragedies do still happen all over the country, but he knows WMC Health Trauma Team is prepared to take it on.
The team put some of their drill practice into gear last week when a Rockland school bus crashed.
Some students were transported to the center where they received care for their injuries. 


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