Univ. of Iowa Hospitals was well prepared for patients after Marengo building explosion

Crews have been working through the night after a building explosion in Marengo.
Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 7:06 AM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Staff with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics say they had gone through a mass casualty event training exercise just days before the explosion at a building in Marengo on Thursday.

At least 10 people were taken to UIHC to be treated following the explosion and resulting fire.

No one was killed, and only one person was reported as being severely injured.

UIHC received between 10 and 15 people that were hurt in the explosion. Five of them came by ambulance, but the hospital wouldn’t provide exact numbers due to privacy laws.

Most people had what Dr. Theresa Brennan described as “mild” or “moderate” injuries. Some of those patients have since been discharged.

UIHC staff said they treated this explosion as a mass casualty event, which they’re always preparing for.

“So we were well-prepared to take these patients and any patients that came, and we’re really grateful for our team to have been so dedicated to this emergency response,” Dr. Brennan said.

She said staff worked quickly to make room for patients from the Marengo explosion, and they were even prepared for more patients than they ended up seeing.

“Mobilization during an emergency is what we do best,” she said. “Even in a time when staffing is challenging, our team did a great job of trying to move patients out of the ER. Our ER, as you know, is routinely full.”

UIHC has the only burn treatment center in Iowa officially verified by the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons. It treats hundreds of people every year.