the torch Fall 2016, Issue 3 - Page 14

Baylor Dallas ’ ‘ Team of Teams ’ cares for victims of Dallas shooting

Minutes after a sniper began targeting police officers at a rally in Dallas on July 7 , Stephen Burgher , M . D ., got a text from his son : “ There ’ s a rally in Dallas , and there have been some shootings . No report of casualties . Praying for you , Pops .”
But there were casualties . Dr . Burgher , an ER physician on the medical staff at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas , was already caring for one of them when he received his son ’ s text .
Due to its status as a Level 1 trauma center and its proximity to the rally , Baylor Dallas cared for several victims of the shooting ; both police officers and one civilian . And while Baylor Dallas often trains for all types of emergencies , it ’ s impossible to predict how people will respond until there is an actual event .
“ You can train for it . You can rehearse it ,” Dr . Burgher said . “ But when it comes to the actual event , there are lots of questions — how many victims will we have , how many caregivers will we have and how will they respond ?”
The response from everyone on duty that night was heroic . The team quickly grew . Many ER employees who weren ’ t on duty came to the ER after hearing the news . As the first causalities arrived , including a wounded officer whose partner drove him there in their bullet-riddled
14 12 police car , ER staff immediately began triage , stabilizing those with the most critical injuries .
“ I ’ m really proud of Baylor ’ s response and how people worked together ,” Dr . Burgher said , describing the effort as a coordination of “ a team of teams .” The term is based on a book he recently read called Team of Teams : New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by Gen . Stanley McChrystal . Responding to crises like this requires tight collaboration among physicians , nursing staff , respiratory therapists , technicians , transporters and staff in radiology and the blood bank . “ That whole team needs to integrate seamlessly with the trauma surgery team that performs lifesaving work in the operating rooms .”
Dr . Burgher received his medical training in the Navy and has completed two combat deployments to the Middle East .
“ At one point , I looked over at Dr . Michael Foreman , the lead trauma surgeon that night , and said , ‘ I feel like we ’ re in Afghanistan .’”
As teams of Baylor Dallas staff cared for the casualties , others consoled police officers , as well as spouses and family members of the victims .
As staff began returning to work for their next shifts , chaplains offered debriefing sessions for employees . “ We do have a resilient staff ,”
Dr . Burgher said , “ but it ’ s been harder on some than others . The chaplains are a great resource to work through the grief .”
After the shooting Joel T . Allison , president and CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health , commended those caregivers — both those who responded that night and on other occasions throughout our system : “ You were there to heal and comfort – time and again , you ’ ve been there . For the victims of the Fort Hood shooting , the biker shootout in Waco , the explosion in West and so many other crises that befall our neighbors every day . We are so grateful for our people , and I honor the men and women of Baylor Scott & White for their commitment to our mission to help and serve others .”
For more information about Baylor ' s emergency and trauma care , contact Tim Moore at 214.820.7877 or Tim . Moore @ BSWHealth . org .
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