Sunrise Hospital CMO: 'Difficult, chaotic' experience treating those injured in Las Vegas shooting

Jeffrey Murawsky, MD, CMO of Las Vegas-based Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center, spoke to NPR about how the hospital operated in the 24 hours after a gunman opened fire during a country music festival Sunday evening, leaving at least 59 individuals dead and 500-plus people injured.

As the closest trauma center to the Las Vegas Strip, SH&MC treated at least 180 patients who were injured during the incident, 14 of whom had died at the time of publication. While no one can anticipate such an ordeal, Dr. Murawsky said the facility was able to handle the influx of patients and provide the best possible care despite the "difficult and chaotic" situation.

"We have a relatively large emergency department, so we were able to triage the patients as they presented by ambulance from the scene. So [we] received about 30 at a time and were able to move them off to our operating rooms if they needed to go emergently or stabilize them in those bays and then move them upstairs into beds in the hospital," Dr. Murawsky said.

Approximately 124 of the 180 patients had gunshot wounds. Many others were injured as a result of the chaos at the scene. Dr. Murawsky said administrators were able to call in physicians, nurses and staff to help mitigate the crisis. Local hospitals and SH&MC's parent company, Las Vegas-based Sunrise Health, were also able to successfully coordinate and share information.

"We've seen events that brought us 30 patients at once, but no one's seen anything of this magnitude before," he said.

Dr. Murawsky told NPR administration plans to bring in counselors to help physicians and staff affected by the incident and "will give the staff the time they need to heal."

To read a transcript of Dr. Murawsky's interview, click here.

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