Nurses, Medical Staff Doctors at Texas Health Kaufman Respond to School Bus Accident
05/28/2012

KAUFMAN, Texas — A recent bus accident near South Washington Street and Highway 175 sent 35 local students to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman emergency room.

Nurses, Medical Staff Doctors at Texas Health Kaufman Respond to School Bus Accident
Responders to the bus crash included: Brandi Crow, Linda Brewer, Jim Woolverton, Dr. Jeff Butterfield, Lisa Adams, Denise Everett, Kevin Smith, Ursula Wilson, Robin Roberts, April Oden-Jackson and Carol Attaway.
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While the injuries were mostly bumps and bruises, hospital leaders and officials with the Kaufman Independent School District say Texas Health Kaufman nurses and doctors on the medical staff performed well under the unusual pressure of so many patients arriving at once. In the end, all 35 children were treated and released within three hours. The Texas Health Kaufman ER typically treats about 70 patients in a 24-hour period.

“When 35 patients show up all at once, there’s the chance things are going to get chaotic and disorganized,” said Patsy Youngs, president of Texas Health Kaufman. “But thanks to ongoing disaster-preparedness training, our folks were cool under pressure and really did an amazing job.”

The first call came in at 7:55 a.m., notifying the hospital of the accident. A Code Yellow (disaster alert) was called, and within minutes, six children arrived at the hospital by ambulance. At 8:15, a bus carrying the rest of the accident victims — 29 kids, ranging from 6 to 18 years old — arrived at the ER.

“In a matter of minutes, we were flooded with patients, but no one on our team panicked or hesitated,” said Kevin Smith, Texas Health Kaufman’s safety officer and administrative director of ancillary and support services. “Everyone knew what to do. It was amazing to watch them work. It made me very proud to say I work for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman.”

Staff quickly converted the hospital’s community meeting room into a holding area for the children waiting to be assessed, while school officials helped keep the kids calm. An area of the ER waiting room was quickly converted into a triage unit. Several children required X-rays and other diagnostic tests to check for internal injuries, but no serious injuries were found.

“The ER was only staffed for a ‘normal’ day, with three nurses, one doctor and one nurse manager, so we were really strained for enough people to care for the patients,” said Brandi Crow, R.N., director of nursing at Texas Health Kaufman.

So Crow contacted Central Staffing at Texas Health Resources’ headquarters in Arlington, which contacted Texas Health Kaufman nurses who were not scheduled to work that day.

“The beauty of the system was that we could stay focused on the job at hand, while someone else took on the responsibility of getting more nurses here,” Crow said. “It seemed like only a few minutes before five extra nurses showed up and jumped right in to help.”

While the hospital staff was caring for the victims of the bus accident, 15 walk-ins arrived at the hospital’s ER.

“To see the hospital be able to absorb this large number of patients, plus continue to do business as usual was really inspiring,” Youngs said.

To maintain good patient flow while ensuring each student was properly evaluated and carefully treated, Dr. Jeff Butterfield, ER medical director and a physician on the medical staff at the hospital, Dr. Mark Sij, chief quality officer and a physician on the medical staff, and nurse leaders used their TeamSTEPPS training, which emphasizes team strategies and communication techniques to enhance patient safety and quality care.

“We are grateful to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman for the prompt and professional manner in which our students were treated,” said Todd Williams, superintendent of Kaufman ISD. “Although the injuries were not life-threatening, the response by the hospital staff — from doctors to administrators to nurses — was tremendous. Anytime this type of positive response is directed towards children and their service, it makes you stop and take notice.”

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman is a 91-bed acute-care, full-service medical center serving Kaufman and Henderson counties and the southern part of Dallas County since 1979. The hospital's services include women’s services, wound care, diagnostic imaging, cardiac rehabilitation and pain management services. Texas Health Kaufman, an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, was recently recognized with the Pathway to Excellence hospital designation for distinction in nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and is a Level IV Trauma Center. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Kaufman.