Lourdes: At the time, the Blood Bank department was undergoing a major renovation. We had only half the workspace available and only one pneumatic tube station functional. We typically have two pneumatic tube stations available to send and receive products within ORMC and to a sister facility on the same campus.
On a typical Sunday, we dispense on average about 35 blood products and maybe one massive transfusion protocol (MTP). On a busy day we dispense on average 75 to a 100 blood products with two to three MTPs. During the Pulse mass casualty, we had seven MTPs going throughout that day. More than 500 blood products were received and tested/processed by the ORMC Blood Bank. The blood products included RBC units, platelet units, FFP units, Cryo units. The Blood Bank dispensed 441 blood products on that single day.
With the help of a nearby sister facility, the ORMC Blood Bank team was still able to provide routine and stat blood bank laboratory testing and transfusion services for the OR, ED routine transfusion or emergency transfusions, critical care patients and pre-admit surgeries.
Lori: The Blood Bank on a typical day can be very busy with any variety of situations: traumas, surgeries, critical patients and special patient work-ups. The night shift is staffed with the fewest technologists and has a call person in the case of traumas.
One specific memory sticks in my mind from that day: The continuous overhead pages for “Person Down — North Tower” were heartbreaking because I knew someone had just gotten bad news about a loved one.
My other role is Operations Manager for the laboratory phlebotomy team that goes to various inpatient nursing units to collect early morning lab tests. This team reports to the nursing units at 2:00 am. They already were on campus before patients arrived, but they were affected by the “active shooter” overhead pages. This required part of the team on a specific unit to hide in closets and patient rooms. As managers, we need to understand how such massive events can affect team members and consider the possibility of PTSD or existing PTSD that may be triggered.