TEMPLE (CBSDFW.COM) – Four people were shot dead at the Fort Hood Army post Wednesday afternoon, after a gunman opened fire. Some 16 others were hurt.
All of the victims were initially taken to Darnall Army Community Hospital at Fort Hood. Several patients were later transferred to Baylor Scott and White Hospital in Temple. Wednesday afternoon doctors there held a press conference.
Dr. Glen Couchman, the Chief Medical Officer for Baylor Scott and White, explained, “At about 5:05 this evening we were notified by officials from Fort Hood that there had been a shooting incident over there. We began preparation to affect patients.”
Doctor Couchman said Baylor Scott and White was the second stop for the patients. He said, “We have four patients that are actually here now and two more that are enroute.” By 10 pm Wednesday night there were nine patients at the hospital.
All of the shooting victims taken to Scott & White were soldiers at Fort Hood — many of whom arrived at the hospital still in uniform.
When asked about how badly the patients were hurt Couchman said, “They’ve had a variety of injuries that we’ve been treating — ranging from gunshot wounds that involved extremities, abdomen, chest and neck.”
Doctors confirmed that all of the patients were suffering from gunshot wounds. “These patients are receiving treatment right now and we are expecting more to be arriving shortly, they’ve been transported by both air and land.”
The patients that had yet to arrive at the hospital are seriously injured. Couchman said a team is on standby, waiting for them. “We’re preparing to go directly to the operating room in anticipation of some very needed surgery.”
Doctors confirmed that the seven male patients and one female patient were all in the Intensive Care Unit. Three of the patients at the hospital are critical condition and five are in serious condition.
Dr. Harry Papaconstantinou, Chairman, Department of Surgery at Scott & White Memorial, said the patients being treated had, “…both individual gunshots, as well as multiple.”
Not only is the Scott and White medical facility nearby Fort Hood but Dr. Papaconstantinou said, “We are a Level 1 Trauma Center. We actually have the resources and capacity to take care of these critically inured patients.”
Doctors said all of the patients at Scott and White had been evaluated and taken care of at Fort Hood. No doctors from the hospital rendered immediate care at the scene.
Both Couchman and Papaconstantinou were working at Scott & White in 2009 when Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan opened fire at the same post. Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 wounded in that mass assault.
Talking about the similarities of the two incidents Dr. Couchman said, “There’s a lot of unknowns early on and it creates some logistical problems on how you plan for this kind of event. We have a command center where we run practice drills.”
After being put on notice about the situation at Fort Hood Dr. Coachman said, “We had our surgeons, operating rooms, everything opened up well before any of these patients arrived.”
Doctors at Scott & White said they hadn’t reached out to any of the family of the injured and they weren’t sure if any family members had arrived at the medical center late Wednesday afternoon.
Speaking of both the 2009 massacre and the deadly shootings on Wednesday, Dr. Couchman said, “This is another sad day for Central Texas.
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