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Sep 6, 2021

Mass casualty events are rare and thus the mistakes made and lessons learned are often repeated, over and over. In this episode, emergency physician and former Special Forces medic Mike Shertz, MD walks us through the steps on how to be an effective first receiver of mass casualty victims and shares the lessons written in blood from previous events. 


Guest Bio: Mike Shertz MD is an emergency physician who spent 13 years as a Green Beret and a Special Forces medic. He is the founder and purveyor of Crisis Medicine which teaches and trains first responders in tactical casualty care. Check out this video that we did together in 2019 on how to place and remove a tourniquet and this one on how to pack a gunshot wound with combat gauze. 

We discuss:

  • The First Receiver who is in a singularly unique position as it applies to a mass casualty [03:55];
  • The difference between a hospital’s surge capacity and mass casualty preparedness [05:30];
  • The mindset of the medical provider after receiving a patient from EMS [10:32];
  • The value of a field triage score which is a simple way to stratify casualties [12:50];
  • How the success of a mass casualty event for the first receiver has to do with organization, throughput, and saving lives [16:15];
  • Lessons learned from the Christchurch, New Zealand mass shooter incident [29:45];
  • How your response to a mass casualty differs if you’re unsure about the safety of your facility (as was the case in the 2020 Beirut explosion) [41:15];
  • One of the sayings of the Special Forces: ‘All lessons are written in blood’ [43:27]; 
  • The question Shertz thinks people should ask of their hospital disaster planners [45:45];
  • And more.



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