Would Connecticut be prepared for a mass casualty incident?

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HARTFORD --  In the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, FOX61 set out to determine if Connecticut's hospitals could handle a mass casualty event.

We visited Hartford Hospital, one of Connecticut's two level-one trauma centers.

Dr. Thomas Abbruzzese is the Trauma Medical Director at Hartford Hospital. He explained that the hospital would have to prioritize patients and make sure they are evenly distributed among hospitals.

"We would have to have a staging of the most critically injured people, and the less injured people would probably be farmed out to local hospitals," said Abbruzzese.

Dr. Jonathan Gates, Chief of Surgery, has experience with mass casualty situations, having treated patients at Brigham & Women's Hospital after the Boston Marathon bombings.

"I mean, nobody can really prepare for that number of casualties," said Dr. Gates.

Dr. Gates said Hartford Hospital holds a handful of drills every year to simulate mass casualty situations, bringing fake patients into the trauma center.

"Usually, the drills are 50,60,70 patients," explained Gates. "It might be automobile crashes to plane crashes and things like that."

Gates said the drills test the hospital's ability to notify surgeons and operating teams.

"[We] see where the weak points are or where the potential choke points are," said Gates. "And then we look back at it, do a sort of after-action report and figure out what could we do better if this were real."