Conway Regional answered the call when tragedy struck - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Conway Regional answered the call when tragedy struck

Posted: Updated:
CONWAY (KATV) - They’ve dealt with tornadoes before, they even handled the aftermath of the Detco Explosion nearly a decade ago.  But Sunday’s deadly tornado was a true test of Conway Regional Medical Center and its staff and looking back one week later, they think they did a pretty good job.

“Probably half of the patients that we had were critically injured, there were very, very severe injuries,” said Amanda Irby, RN and director of Conway Regional’s emergency room.

For Irby and the rest of the hospital staff, April 27 is a date they will never forget.

“They had people in the back [of cars] that were on doors, they were on pieces of particle board, they were using old lumber, broken sticks, whatever to splint,” commented Irby on the desperate scene flooding her emergency room.

In a matter of just a few short hours, the generally quiet 16-bed emergency room saw over a hundred patients in a matter of hours.  On an average day at Conway Regional the emergency room typically only sees about 120 patients – they saw that daily quota very quickly Sunday night.

“I saw a guy who had like ten rib fractures, multiple lacerations,” recounted Dr. Jason Skinner.  “He was cut up all over, had a lot of abrasions.”

Despite the grim scene Skinner saw in the ER, Skinner was only seeing the less severe patients.

The whole hospital staff was called in on Sunday.

“After we got word that things were looking pretty grim and there were casualties we initiated the disaster call list,” said Irby.

The tornado was clearly a challenge for the small hospital, but Irby was proud to say that her staff’s hard work paid off – they didn’t lose a single patient that night.

“I am so, so proud of this ER team,” commented Irby.  “They all showed up, they put in the night here, they took care of patients like they’ve never taken care of patients before.”

One week after the EF-4 twister, there is just one patient left at Conway Regional Medical Center.  That patient is now listed in good condition.