Doctor who saved hundreds in Las Vegas mass shooting shares experience with New York medical residents

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019
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Tim Fleischer reports on the doctor's visit to SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in Brooklyn.

FLATBUSH, Brooklyn (WABC) -- An emergency room physician shared his unforgettable experience of the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas to residents at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in Brooklyn.

The gunman was responsible for killing 58 and wounding 422 people, and even before ambulances arrived, the wounded were scooped up and placed in pickup trucks and cars.

Many were carried into nearby hospitals that were suddenly overwhelmed.

"Approximately 20 minutes from when the shooting started was when we received our first victim," emergency room physician Dr. Kevin Menes said. "So there wasn't much time for us to sort of prepare."

Menes was the attending emergency room physician that horrible night at Sunrise Hospital, a level two trauma center.

"We saw over 200 people in a matter of under an hour," Dr. Menes said.

Long before the night of the shooting, Dr. Menes told us in an exclusive interview that he often seriously thought and even planned what he would do in the event of mass casualties.

"In our line of work, it's unfortunately part of the very fabric of what we should be preparing for every single day," he said. "There is no other specialty out there that is prepared to handle this type of incident."

At SUNY Downstate, they train more emergency medicine residents than anywhere else in the country. Their skills are put to practice in a tabletop exercise, testing how they would plan and react to mass casualties.

"The big ideas that are most important to being successful in mass casualty we are not even talking about," Dr. Menes said.

He believes with these incidents occurring more frequently, doctors and hospitals must be prepared.

Dr. Menes points to the rental truck that killed eight and injured 11 innocent people on Manhattan's West Side bike path.

"That number of victims that we as ER Doctors will be on the other end receiving and we have to do our best to save every single life," he said.

And that night in Las Vegas it took teamwork.

"If you were there that night, I am still in awe," Dr. Menes said. "My teammates were amazing, nothing short of amazing."


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