Wearing Kevlar to work?

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by deejayshakur, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. deejayshakur

    deejayshakur Member
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    weird question, but have any of you thought about wearing Kevlar to work? i've generally felt very safe in the EDs that i've worked in, both county and community, but the virginia tech massacre made me think...ya never know.

    i never stopped to ask the sheriffs in the county ED, but they wear kevlar i take it?

    that being said, anybody thought of outfitting your car and house with bulletproof glass?

    yeah ok, maybe i'm being overly paranoid. but...ya never know.
     
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  3. DrQuinn

    DrQuinn My name is Neo
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    I think I was scared about it back when I was a pre-med.

    But now that I'm actually done with training and working, there are about 10 people they'd have to get to before they can get to me. We have armed security (usually about 5-6 guards) anytime in the ED. Plus, a nurse would scream once she would see a gun. Which would give me plenty of time to run.

    I'm a lover. Not a fighter.

    Q
     
  4. EM2BE

    EM2BE Elf
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    I thought about that before moving into the neighborhood I live in now. At times, I wish I did have the bullet-proof glass, but lucky so far.
     
  5. Tiger26

    Tiger26 Senior Member
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    slightly off topic, but I was wondering if any of you guys have seen any mass casualty events in the ED like this one must have been and if so, what the response was?
     
  6. kungfufishing

    kungfufishing Senior Member
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    Busy nearby EDs, and probably a whole lotta chest tubes goin on.
     
  7. Dr.Evil1

    Dr.Evil1 Senior Member
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    I work in Detroit and see a lot of violence, including a prisoner stealing a gun from police and taking a tech hostage. I have never considered wearing Kevlar to work, nor do I think that I have a particularly dangerous job. I am MUCH more afraid in the parking lot then in the ED.
     
  8. BadVB750

    BadVB750 Senior Member
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    Yeah, that must of been a nightmare today at their local ED as far as resources. I believe the closest level one is Roanoke, va. Why can't people just kill themselves instead of innocent lives.

    Wouldn't it get really hot wearing kevlar and running around as much as EPs do?
     
  9. trkd

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    A lifetime of working in a very uncomfortable vest for a 1 in a million (much more actually) event to take place. Even if you are lucky enough for it to happen, you get a head shot and wonder if it was worth it. No thanks. You are much more likely to get hit by a drunk driver or something. I would stop driving before wearing Kevlar to work. Driving is much more dangerous.
     
  10. Aloha Kid

    Aloha Kid Senior Member
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    If you think about it, the ED would kind of be a crappy place to choose if you wanted to pull a gun. At any given time there are usually 3 patients who might actually benefit from being shot just to put them out of their misery. Then there's probably 3 more who probably deserve to be shot. Well . . . I may be out of line . . . It's been a very long shift . . . Sleepy time.
     
  11. BadVB750

    BadVB750 Senior Member
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    Yeah, but a gunman would manage to only kill the youngest and most vital to society.
     
  12. kungfufishing

    kungfufishing Senior Member
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    dirtbags would only be grazed, ricocheting into the adjacent salvation army bell ringer with URI
     
  13. DropkickMurphy

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    Have you ever tried working a critical trauma or code wearing Kevlar and a lead vest before? Trust me, it just gets annoying because it's so damn heavy and hot so you eventually want to stop wearing it after a point (I had to keep doing it because the military ordered me to).
     
  14. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Membership Revoked
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    Does combat count?
     
  15. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon
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    I guess I should stop complaining about my cotton-poly white coat...
     
  16. Dr.Evil1

    Dr.Evil1 Senior Member
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    So true...
    As mentioned, though, it would be virtually impossible to kill the 3 people who actually deserve it as they have probably already been shot or stabbed while sitting on their porch minding their own business. They are invincible as they would have contributed very little to society and are probably in the ED complaining of 12 months of back pain.
     
  17. docB

    docB Chronically painful
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    I have to admit that when I first read this I thought it was a stupid idea. No offense to the OP because I'm now admitting that I just didn't give it proper consideration and I made a snap judgement. Now that I've thought about it for a few days I have reconsidered (and that reconsideration actually didn't have anything to do with VA Tech). I wouldn't wear a vest in my EDs and I suspect that the vast majority of us wouldn't but it just comes down to a question of resource utilization and cost. It's so unlikely, absolutely not impossible, but unlikely that any of us will benefit from the vest that I think any $$ spent in that direction would be better allocate for biohazard, hazmat gear as the possibility of getting a contaminated patient far outweighs that of an attack. Other EDs are different than mine with a different threat profile. You could also argue that perimeter defense like armed guard with kevlar and metal detectors would be better. That's probably true as well. However the idea of ED staff wearing protective gear is not too for out. Some EMS agencies already do.
     
  18. BKN

    BKN Senior Member
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    Over the years I can remember a policeman being shot at the Hop, Doctors and nurses killed at a varierty of private and military EDs and many incidents at MLK in the bad old days.

    We had a hostage situation and a guy take a gun from a policeman in the 80s. In the latter, the only reason nobody was killed is that while the perp was struggling with the cop, the senior resident came over and applied knee to face about three times. It took me 8 years to get the hospital to put in a metal detector and lock down the entries. They were worried about the IMAGE. As I predicted as soon as the cops had to shoot somebody on the front porch, I got my security measures. Since then (>10 years), remarkable quiet.

    EDs are in fact areas where chaos can seep in. Besides the perps or crazies brought in by the saftey agenices, there have been a fair number of folks who were mad about something else that had happened in the hospital, often to an inpatient, and the ED is the front door so we pay the price.

    I'm not sure that Kevlar is the answer, but every ED should have signifnicant planning for security concerns. If the Admin is unresponsive, find another palce.
     
  19. Wackie

    Wackie Inappropriate, always
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    My answer to this problem is to train as a sprinter..the goal being to be able to out run a bullet. I'm almost there. My instructor who coaches me over the internet via web cam states that after 4 more installments at $225 ea, I should be there.
    I can't wait! Safety at last!


    Actually, I've thought about what would happen should a wacko decide to go crazy and happen to have a gun on him. We close the door during an exam. What if they decided ain't nobody going nowhere?
    I'd need a bed pan.


    The closest I've seen is when a bus full of gomers on their way to a field trip was hit and the other hospitals were on divert. It was busy, but nobody was seriously injured. We just piled them up on the hall beds.
     
  20. FoughtFyr

    FoughtFyr SDN Lifetime Donor
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    I wore a vest as a medic in the Chicago Suburbs. While I paid through the nose for a lightweight one, it was still pretty bulky. I'm not sure I would go that route for day-to-day use in the ED. That said - I like having it available for "special circumstances" (e.g., civil unrest, local prison riot, etc.).

    - H
     
  21. deejayshakur

    deejayshakur Member
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    the more i think about and read the comments here, i agree that a vest for everyday use is probably excessive. the rent-a-cops at the level 3 ED i was at weren't even armed. like y'all mentioned earlier, it just depends on your location.

    i've been trying to think of what other fields have the potential to come face to face with gang members, prisoners, crazies with guns... military aside, i guess prison psychiatry or a methadone clinic. maybe the trauma team, but they've got the OR around them. the ED is really the hub of society when you need medical care, and that doesn't come without risks.

    an attending i worked with told me about an ER doc who was taking care of a GSW only to be confronted by the opposing gang who wanted the patient dead. how they got into the ED i don't know, but stuff like that can happen. just depends on your locale.

    i like the idea of having safety/riot gear available.
     
  22. BklynWill

    BklynWill EM Attending
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    A police officer was killed and a hospital medical technician was wounded in a recent shooting in the emergency room at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, Bucks County, PA.

    Officer Killed in Hospital Shooting
     
  23. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon
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    Seems like a strong argument for a Chief position.
     
  24. docB

    docB Chronically painful
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    BKN said it more articulately than I did. Another problem with vests, and part of the reason I said there's a low probability we would benefit from it, is that even if you're involved in a shooting in the ED you have to get shot in the vest by somthing a vest will stop. If you get shot in the face or if the wack job has a Desert Eagle you're still just as hosed.
     
  25. deejayshakur

    deejayshakur Member
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    did i read that right? sept 30, 2005.
     
  26. BklynWill

    BklynWill EM Attending
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    Not that long ago. People are still talking about it like it just happened.
     
  27. El Cheba

    El Cheba New Member
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    We had a bus wreck down here a few months back. It was chaos, obviously, but it went well. Like suprisingly well. No one really had time to think, we got a call that there was a bus wreck and then patients started arriving within minutes (the overpass was pretty near the hospital). We had trained for years for a bus wreck scenario and then it happened. Everyone just kinda went into a zone and did what needed to be done and thought about it later. Off duty surgeons of all specialties just came in and helped. The way everyone just did what they needed to do was impressive
     

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