Las Vegas — CBS NEWS There is no shortage of heroes Sunday night at Sunrise Hospital, the closest trauma center into the Las Vegas Strip. Since the injured lurks in, thus did 100 doctors and 100 nurses.
Some of them shared their own experiences of the night with CBS News’ Anthony Mason.
“Ambulances were coming from everywhere,” said Dorita Sondereker, Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center’s director of emergency services. “There were pickup trucks with patients just cutting in front of me and just hoping to come to the emergency room.”
Sondereker, in addition to ER Dr. Jason Katz and medical manager Scott Scherer, were in the middle of the chaos as the injured flooded in.
“There was blood everywhere, and honestly, I want to say bodies on stretchers anyplace,” Sondereker said. “The patients kept rolling in and we were just attempting to locate placement for everyone.”
“All penetrating bullet wounds, even if it was shrapnel or if it was direct hits, the sickest patients had direct hits to the chest or stomach and gunshot wounds to the head,” Scherer said.
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“As all these patients are coming, are you on your head wondering what’s happened?” Mason asked.
“Not one of us actually genuinely knew what happened. We didn’t know how many people were shot, we didnt know the number of assailants and things such as that,” Scherer said.
They didn’t have time to ask those questions.
“Can you have places to place everyone?” Mason asked.
“For most of a sudden to have a influx of 200 patients whenever you are already busy was a struggle and I think the most significant thing that I believed and saw that night was a calmness during the turmoil,” Sondereker said. “We knew we just had to remain calm, take good care of their patients, triage and keep going.”
“At some stage it was about space. At some stage it turned into… just area. When there was a hallway area, a patient went there. When there was an empty seat, a patient went there,” she said.
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“I’m positive you’ve seen a lot in a hospital. What surprised you, good or bad, about what you saw?” Mason asked.
“Regardless of how many patients we had, we had 214 patients who night, along with the communication you would believe could be broken however the communication was really impressive,” Scherer said.
“One thing that amazed me is, seeing these folks who were shot and families and things is how well they managed it,” Katz said. “And that to me is awesome.”
“The patients actually said, ‘he is hurt more than I am. I am likely to back go back here and let him get my bed,'” Sondereker said. “The capacity of them to be understanding and generous was amazing and they’d say ‘treat him first, I’m good.'”
“You see this by a complete different side compared to many people. What should you take away from that?” Mason asked.
“How dreadful this was and the evil that is out there. And number two the feeling of humanity that was shared together with the professionals that came into help, with our community. And had tears. I had tears of joy, of pride of the staff and our community, and also tears of despair,” Scherer said.
The despair is at Sunrise who failed to make it for the 15 patients.