Less than two weeks after the Boston Marathon bombings, several Los Angeles County hospitals and clinics conducted a disaster drill to test whether healthcare officials are prepared for such an emergency.
At Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro, organizers simulated a bomb in the parking structure that resulted in several pretend deaths and dozens of fake injuries, including internal bleeding, bone fractures and an amputation.
Hospital employees and nursing students wore detailed makeup to look as though they were injured, and employees quickly set up a triage area with red, yellow and green tarps. Fire trucks, ambulances and paramedics responded to the fake scenario, and doctors simulated administering pain medication and inserting IVs.
"It really, really helps for training," said Christian Cannady, simulation technician at the UCLA School of Nursing. "It's extremely real."
Cannady said the disaster drill was even more important after the blasts in Boston. "L.A. County is a huge target," he said. "This could very well happen here."