Albert Lea Tribune,
by Sam Wilmes
On Friday, Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea received notice it might need to receive 10 to 20 patients from a pileup crash on Interstate 35. Though the number of patients from the crash ended up being less than originally thought, the hospital system credits its emergency plan with successfully treating the five patients taken to the hospital following the crash. The hospital also treated one patient from a separate crash and one who was undergoing a medical condition. According to Betzalel Reich, who led the Albert Lea hospital’s emergency department during the influx, the hospital system’s disaster plan involves staff being transitioned to the emergency department to handle the patient increase. On Friday, three additional nursing staff, general surgeon Darin Passer and orthopedic surgeon Michael Eckstrom temporarily transferred to the emergency department to assist. “We used all of our staff, from our O.R. staff to staff that were available in any place in the hospital,” said nursing manager Joy Shaft. “We had resources that came to the emergency department to assist, and that is our plan. Our plan is to call a medical plan for events like this, and it worked exactly the way it was supposed to.”
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Context: Betzalel Reich, M.D., is an emergency medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea and Austin, Minnesota. The Emergency Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea offers physician coverage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Michael Eckstrom, M.D. is an orthopedic surgeon and an orthopedist at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea and Austin, Minnesota.
Contact: Rick Thiesse