The Long Beach Medical Center conducts an interdisciplinary drill each year for the purpose of testing standards and protocols relating to specific public health issues. This year’s drill related to alcohol and drug overdoses.

On Oct. 5, a group of 11 Long Beach High School theater students helped the hospital add a dose of realism to the drill by posing as a group of teenagers who witness the accidental overdose of a friend at an unsupervised house party. A simulated patient, which was controlled electronically by a LBMC staff worker, was used as the drug overdose victim. Members of the Long Beach Police Department, Long Beach Fire Department, and Long Beach Medical Center’s Emergency Department and Medical Education Department ran through all the emergency protocols that would be used to respond to an actual overdose.

The Long Beach students were invited to attend a debriefing after the drill concluded. When asked what impressed them most about the drill, they mentioned how professional and focused the EMS staff remained as they attended to the patient, even as a very realistic simulated fight broke out around them. They also praised the highly coordinated effort among the emergency department staff.