Hospital lockdown procedures explained

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Police are still investigating double-shootings that happened Friday night and Saturday morning. The first happened around 9 p.m. Friday. Police were called to the Black Hawk liquor store near Kenwood and Springfield. Two men were shot there. The second happened about five hours later outside a home near Bradley and Harris.

We reached out to area hospitals about what it looks like when they go on lockdown. OSF leaders say they are constantly working on how they respond.

If there’s anything someone in the medical field is sure to know, it’s to expect the unexpected. However, knowing how to deal with an emergency takes training. For Staci Sutton, the OSF Nursing Practice and Operations Director, that protocol is taken very seriously.

“We’re kindof seeing escalating numbers of increased violent events in emergency departments across healthcare in general,” said Sutton.

That increase means lockdowns are sometimes necessary.

“It can be high violence patients or lots of family, significant trauma, gunshots, stabbings, where we expect quite a bit of influx of significant others or family members who may present distraught to the emergency department.”

That was the reality for Carle Hospital on Friday night. They were placed on lockdown after two shooting victims showed up at the hospital, but they say operations weren’t impacted. For OSF, a lockdown doesn’t stop patients from getting treatment.

“In the event we had a high-risk situation and we went on lockdown, then nobody could get back, so we would stop everybody, we would ask who they’re here to see, and technically we would lock down for all visitors”

Knowing what to do in those scenarios when the stress is high is something OSF leaders say it imperative.

“All of our mission partners go through a workplace violence prevention program where they actually learn hands on techniques, as well as how to de-escalate verbally with a patient.”

They also stay in close contact with police.

“We have panic buttons that we can get ahold of local law enforcement immediately by pushing a button.”

While there is no way to be completely ready for the unknown, Sutton says she believes they are constantly improving.

“I think we’re definitely more prepared than we were yesterday versus the day before as we continue to move and evolve with changing times, we put more things in place to ensure the safety.”

Anyone working at the time of a situation like a lockdown can access counseling and therapy services. That’s a state law requirement for any victim of workplace violence.

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