Tucson's January 8th trauma helped train doctors in Boston
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Tucson's terrible trauma in the January 8th mass shooting may have helped save lives in Boston.
On January 8th, with 19 gunshot victims, and just one trauma center, The doctors and nurses at University of Arizona Medical Center had to take all they knew, and adapt it on the fly. And what they learned helped hospitals in Boston prepare for their own very bad day.
The Boston bombing left so many victims, it pushed the emergency response system, even for a city with multiple hospitals.
Doctors had no time to bother with exactly how patients got hurt.
Dr. Tracey Dechert, a trauma surgeon at Boston Medical Center says, "As doctors we're often don't ask them their stories, we usually just focus on the surgery and the care."
Doctors at UAMC had to have the same laser focus January 8th, when a gunman shot 19 people and killed six of them. Saving so many, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was an education in emergency medicine, which trauma center chief Doctor Peter Rhee shared with doctors in Boston before they needed it this week.
He says, "I've gone up to them and talked about their system as well to give them some insight on what things to think about and what things to learn from and as they do that we will learn from them and think about what things we need to do.">
Dr. Rhee says trauma specialists are desensitized to the terrible things they see but that frees them to concentrate on saving your life.
"…and we actually look forward to an event like that we can really function at the speed we want to and we're capable of doing so it tests and challenges us but we also professionally find it extremely rewarding that we can help society and do it in such an efficient and productive manner."
Doctor Rhee says once the heat's off doctors start to think of the social factor, why do people do these things and what can prevent that? And we've heard doctors from Boston say some of the same things.
Now, Doctor Rhee says lessons of Tucson, the mass shooting in Colorado, and now Boston will build the knowledge base and help other hospitals be ready for their very bad day.