October 04, 2017
Wall Street Journal
Nearly 48 hours after the deadly shooting rampage in Las Vegas, scores of victims remained in hospitals on Tuesday, with dozens in critical condition, including at least two paralyzed patients, according to hospital officials.
Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center said it carried out 10 surgeries on patients with head injuries, some of whom were in grave condition.
“We won’t know for a few days, what level or how far along they are,” Dave MacIntyre, Sunrise Hospital’s medical director, said in an interview. “They are the most serious.”
Dr. MacIntyre said two of his patients have been paralyzed with gunshot wounds to the back, and some patients are now requiring a second round of surgery, particularly those with complicated abdominal wounds.
After the frenzy of the initial rush, doctors are just getting to know some of the victims, he said. “We are getting to meet them for the first time—what are their names, where they are from,” he said. “We knew nothing about them other than gunshot wound to the head, neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis.”
Of the 214 patients Sunrise received, 67 remain in the hospital, with 33 in critical condition, officials said. Another 15 patients died, they said.
“I had a moment when I realized I had five or six friends that go to that every year and I had this fear that I was going to see one of their faces,” she said.
Kevin Menes, an emergency-room physician, recalled seeing patients arrive in pickup trucks, taxis and Uber cars, in addition to ambulances. At the height of the trauma, patients were brought to him and he worked on them in a circle, with him in the center.
Authorities have said Sunday night’s mass shooting outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino killed at least 58 victims and wounded more than 527. The gunman also killed himself.
At least three hospitals fielded casualties in the hours after the attack.
At the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, trauma surgeon Syed Saquib said a relative calm had returned to the hospital after a frantic rush of more than 100 patients in the immediate aftermath of the massacre.
“The vast majority of our injuries were blunt penetration injuries from gunshots,” Dr. Saquib said. “Things have been pretty under control for a while now.”
The hospital said a dozen of its patients from the shooting remained in critical condition Tuesday. Those patients generally suffered major bleeding, intestinal injuries or brain injuries from gunshot wounds, said Deborah Kuhls, a surgeon and director of the hospital’s trauma intensive-care unit.
“I would say all those people are doing better today,” Dr. Kuhls said. “There wasn’t anybody who was worse. And the people who didn’t require ICU care are uniformly doing better.”
About 50 victims of the shooting remain at University Medical Center, including two pediatric patients aged 16 and 17, who aren’t in critical condition, officials said. About 40 people have been discharged since Monday.
Dr. Kuhls said the hospital is offering extra psychological support for employees traumatized by the tragedy, including resident physicians who “haven’t seen this before.” She said one physician was so overwhelmed today she broke down in tears in the cafeteria.
Irene Guerrero, from Rialto, Calif., visited her best friend at the hospital Tuesday. She said she and Jennifer Campas went to the concert together, a rare just-the-girls outing for the lifelong friends.
Ms. Guerrero, who struggled to hold back tears as she described their escape, said her friend was shot in the face but is expected to survive. She said after Ms. Campas was shot, the pair struggled to keep running. A stranger in the crowd offered Ms. Campas a wheelchair, she said, and a man helped them into a vehicle and drove them to a safe spot where Ms. Campas could be treated by paramedics and rushed to the hospital.
Their rescue driver visited Ms. Campas on Monday, Ms. Guerrero said, and continued to check on the pair Tuesday.
Ms. Guerrero and her husband, Derek Guerrero, left the hospital about midday to try to rest.
An official with Dignity Heath-St. Rose Dominicans hospital chain said five people were in critical condition at its Siena facility. Spokeswoman Jennifer Cooper said 61 people were brought to the hospital chain’s three facilities after the shooting, and 53 have so far been released.