VA Tech Shootings After-Action

Below you will find copies of the two reports addressing the Virginia Tech Shootings, and the Police and EMS response to them. The first report gives an overview of the event, followed by “Key Findings” and “Recommendations”. The second report covers the EMS response more in-depth.

Unfortunately, active-shooter scenarios are events for which one must prepare. In doing so, one should study past occurrences to garner lessons-learned, so as to implement them in your response scenarios. Doing so allows one to examine one’s protocols against real-world occurrences, which may expose flaws.

How might you have done things differently?

Post answers to the comments section.

VA Tech EMS Report

VA Tech After-Action 1

Antibiotic Impregnated Bandages for Penetrating Trauma

Early use of anti-biotics in combat trauma is now commonplace amongst most military medical circles. The liberal use of antibiotics in a tactical or combat environment has spawned numerous products to ease the process. Some of the items are very useful while others have little suitability to the injuries associated with trauma created by high-velocity fragments or penetrating trauma.

Antibiotics currently recommended for administration in the tactical environment generally are in pill or injectable form and they function on a systemic level instead of a local level. When considering the depth of the injuries associated with combat, placing a bandage impregnated with an antibiotic on the surface of an injury is almost senseless. It will serve to minimize or eliminate microbial activity at the surface of the wound, but it does nothing for the majority of the injury.

The real danger is when this type of dressing is used as a substitute for administering antibiotics in the field. Topical antibiotic treatment of penetrating trauma is similar to attempting to drink water without opening your mouth. You will wet your lips, which might make you feel better, but does little to help hydrate the body. These dressings do serve a purpose, however. For lacerations, abrasions and burns they are a sensible solution, but you wouldn’t treat a gunshot wound with Bacitracin. Therefore, don’t rely on the same concept in a different form. Administration of systemic antibiotics is the current accepted standard for combat trauma. Don’t accept anything less if you have the choice.