DALLAS (CBS11) – As of Monday evening, the fight to save the wounded has not slowed in Las Vegas. At last count, some 515 injured have been or still are being treated at area hospitals. It’s a scene that North Texas doctors with deep compassion call “controlled chaos” and it’s one that many of them know well.
“Your heart goes out to the victims and their families and those dealing with this terrible tragedy,” says Michael Foreman, M.D. “Those in the trenches doing their best to save lives and restore lives.”
Dr. Foreman is Medical Director at Baylor University Medical Center. As one of North Texas’ Level I trauma centers, he says staffers train and prepare– and yet the learning curve is constantly shifting.
“We thought we were prepared in July (2016),” says Dr. Foreman. “We learned so much from the police shootings in July that we went back and looked at how we do things so we can do a better job at something that we hope we never have to do in the fist place.”
North Texas medical experts say thinking about the unthinkable is now a necessity for everyone.
“But, it always make you think. We’re all moms. We’re all dads. We’re all sisters and brothers, so it makes us all think about those questions: what would you do?” says Jorie Klein, R.N. and Director of Trauma at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital.
Since mass shootings have become a question of ‘where now’ and not ‘if,’ Klein says everyone must know how to become a stand in medic. So she teaches everyday citizens how to stop bleeding when someone is seriously injured.
“On a normal basis it takes a paramedic between five and eight minutes to get to your side after you call for help anywhere in America,” says Klein. “If you have a crisis and you’re bleeding, you can bleed to death in 3 minutes. So you can do the math, if you don’t have someone that’s going to help you. I encourage everyone learn the training. Stop the bleed.”
So whether it’s the person next to you coming to the rescue or one of North Texas’ well trained medical professionals, experts say preparation pays off.
When asked what can be the difference if it’s done well, Dr. Foreman’s response couldn’t have been more clear.