By now I am sure all of you have heard about the shooting in Aurora, CO. It is a terrible tragedy. The police at the situation did an outstanding job taking care of the injured. Placing patients in their squad cars and taking them to the hospital was a great choice. Sometimes waiting on the ambulance is not the best choice. There are 2 schools of thought about transporting sick patients. Scoop and run vs stay and play. I am an advocate of scoop and run. This has been done for a long time by the “ghetto ambulance”. The ghetto ambulance is a buddy of the guy who got shot throws the guy in the car. Once he gets to the hospital driveway, he starts honking his horn to get people to come out. He kicks the guy out the car door and then takes off. This gets the victim to the hospital quicker (most of the time) than EMS because they do not have to wait for the ambulance to get there. Those officers that took the patients to the hospital did a great job and probably saved many people’s lives.
I had been watching the news to see if they ever talked about the staff at the hospital and what they did for the victims. I have not heard anything. This situation is what we train for but at the same time it is our worst nightmare. It is also in this instance that the ER does what it was meant to do. This was a true disaster situation for the hospital. An ER (that was probably already full) is now deluged with 70+ trauma patients of unknown condition. Trying to put myself in the situation of the docs on that night… At almost 1am, I would be hoping the ER was going to slow down soon. Then all of a sudden you hear that pretty much all the ambulances have been dispatched to the local movie theater. Details would be hearsay. My first thought would be “Oh crap.” Followed by a long sigh. Then I would start trying to think what could have happened. I have to start going into disaster mode. Was it a gas, a wreck, a poison, a shooting?? We would start to try to clear out some of the critical rooms to put the patients. Then the first police car would arrive with patients. Go pull the patient out and go to work. This scenario sends shivers down my spine – some of fear and some of excitement. This might be overwhelming chaos but this is why I got into the business. Take care of patients that out number your resources. This is a style of “McGyver medicine”. I love McGyver medicine. Today’s post is a big “Thank You!” and a lot of appreciation for the stellar job done by the local hospital, EMS, and police.