Emergency & Trauma

December 13, 2021

VUMC treats influx of trauma victims from Kentucky and Tennessee tornadoes

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) has treated 28 patients injured from the tornado outbreak that struck Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky overnight on Friday, Dec. 10 and Saturday, Dec. 11.

As reports from Kentucky detailed the severity of the storms, VUMC increased staffing and prepared space in ICU areas to care for incoming patients.

Through combined efforts of staff in LifeFlight, Burn, Trauma Emergency Departments and ICUs, 24 adult and four pediatric patients were transferred and treated for injuries sustained from the storm. Injuries included broken bones, head and internal injuries, lacerations and burns.

In interviews with media Oscar Guillamondegui, MD, Chief, Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, Bradley Dennis, MD, associate professor of Surgery, Division of Trauma, Jared McKinney, MD, associate professor of Emergency Medicine and director of LifeFlight Event Medicine, and Jeffrey Upperman, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief and Chair, Department of Pediatric Surgery at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt,  explained the joint process used to prepare for mass trauma events and how we were able to successfully transport and treat the sudden influx of patients and their families as well as maintain care for current patients.

Media covering the storms and VUMC’s response include CNN, The Louisville Courier Journal, WKRN Channel 2 and WSMV Channel 4.

For tips on tornado safety visit https://www.vumc.org/emergency/tornado-safety.