South Shore Hospital springs into action after one killed, 19 others injured in Hingham crash

Around 11 a.m. Monday morning, South Shore Hospital got word of a mass casualty event a few miles away in Hingham, after a driver plowed into the Apple Store in the Derby Street Shops.

Immediately dispatched to the scene was Dr. Will Tollefsen, the hospital’s EMS medical director.

Tollefsen, along with other first responders, helped triage what became a group of 20 injured people, and several of them were in bad shape.

“We were able to relay back the state of the scene, numbers of patients and determine what is the capability, how many more critical patients can I send,” Tollefsen said.

Eventually, 19 patients were treated at South Shore Hospital while two went to hospitals in Boston.

“We have multiple patients with life-threatening and limb-threatening injuries,” said Dr. Christopher Burns, South Shore’s trauma chief.

Doctors said some patients had been operated on, while others were waiting to have surgery.

One of the injured was Susan Gamble’s niece. She had shopped at the Apple Store the night before, leaving behind her wallet. On Monday, she returned to retrieve it.

“There was a nurse in the store that was with her, and told my mother she had a broken bone,” Gamble said.

Doctors said on Monday, South Shore was experiencing a lull in visits due to respiratory illnesses.

“We were able to empty out our Emergency Department in about five minutes with patients who went upstairs to beds,” said Dr. Jason Tracy, chairman of emergency medicine. “We got a little lucky that we had available capacity, that we were able to manage the patients very quickly.”

Burns said his hospital had the staffing to help the injured on Monday.

“We had multiple resources respond to the hospital including additional surgeons, additional support staff. We were very well-staffed at this time, considering the day of the week and the time of the day,” Burns said.

In a statement released late Monday afternoon, South Shore Hospital praised its staff for their quick response to “treat patients and save lives”:

On Monday November 21, South Shore Hospital’s Emergency Department received 17 patients from the scene of a motor vehicle accident at the Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham, all with various acute and less acute traumatic injuries.

Our Level 2 Trauma, Emergency Medicine, and Surgical Teams were able to mobilize quickly and efficiently to care for these patients. All patients were reunited with family members or loved ones through the support of our staff. Many providers from throughout South Shore Health responded to the hospital including additional surgeons, caregivers, and support staff.

We are grateful for the incredibly well executed response of local and regional emergency and public safety teams who coordinated swift and effective care at the scene in an effort to treat patients and save lives.

South Shore Hospital

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