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CHLA Hosts 5th Annual Disaster Olympix

At Children's Hospital Los Angeles, being quick and efficient under the pressure of a disaster gets you an Olympix trophy. ATVN's Margaux Farrell reports.  

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles took preparedness to an Olympic level by creating an in-house competition of disaster simulations on Tuesday.

The hospital staff was split into teams and were timed and evaluated on how they responded to various crisis situations in a competition called “The Disaster Olympix.”

Some of the drills included decontamination, transporting wheelchair-bound patients, dealing with power outages, waste management, patient reunification and disaster jeopardy.

“Getting used to all of the equipment, and knowing your way around the hospital, and what resources you have, and how to really put it all together in case of a disaster,” said PICU Charge Nurse, Corinne Costley.

Dr. Jeffery Upperman, the creator of the event and director of the trauma program, was deployed to Iraq 10 years ago, and he says he uses what he learned overseas to better the hospital in Los Angeles.

“Disaster is something that you live with all the time in warfare,” said Dr. Upperman. “So coming back from that crisis I realized that our hospitals, and what I did in children's hospitals, we needed to ramp up our activities.”

Children's Hospital Los Angeles ranks top five in the country and best in the west, according to U.S. News & World Report. Doing things like the Disaster Olympix helps keep them on the cutting edge of innovation and preparedness.

“In a hospital, I mean it’s the first place are going to turn to,” said Pearl Ruiz, a health education associate. “People are going to come and assume that we are going to be ready for them and we need to be.” 

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