Lack of communication failed to send some Las Vegas shooting victims to city's trauma center

The city of Las Vegas has a comprehensive emergency plan designed to send a manageable amount of patients to each of the city's hospitals during a crisis, but because unaware bystanders transported victims of the Oct. 1 shooting on their own, the city's only Level I trauma center went underutilized, according to The Arizona Republic.

Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, a Level II trauma center, treated 199 victims. However, University Medical Center, Nevada's only Level I trauma center and the designated treatment facility for the neighborhood where the shooting took place, treated only 104 patients.

Around 1:45 a.m., Sunrise ran out of universally compatible Type O-negative blood as staff and resources ran thin, but there were nine empty trauma bays and three available operating rooms at UMC. Rumors spread across the city that UMC was closed or unavailable to take patients, though no one knows how they were started.

Some city officials argue a centralized communication system could help avoid similar situations in the future.

"We've been trying to fix that problem for a while," said John Hammond, the EMS and trauma system manager for the Southern Nevada Health District, according to The Arizona Republic. "Not just for large events, but for everyday movement of patients within the system, a centralized system would be better."

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