Las Vegas Hospital 'like a War Zone' As Shooting Victims ...

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - When Dr. Jay Coates pulled up to work at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada on Sunday night, the surrounding streets already were cordoned off and ambulances filled with shooting victims lined the driveway. Inside the trauma centre, staff worked to evaluate and treat dozens of patients with high-velocity bullet wounds - victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. "It was like a war zone," said Coates, one of two senior surgeons who worked Sunday night duty as the city's emergency personnel struggled to keep up with the flood of victims. "We were just trying to keep people from dying." The fusillade of bullets fired by a lone gunman from the Mandalay Bay hotel into a crowd of 22,000 at a country music festival killed at least 59 people and sent more than 500 to area hospitals, severely straining the city's emergency response system and putting the hospitals into overdrive. At University Medical Center, the state's only level-one trauma centre - which means it is staffed around the clock with surgeons and trauma nurses and personnel - virtually every available employee hustled back to work to be confronted with unimaginable carnage. Toni Mullan, a clinical nursing supervisor for the trauma unit, had just gotten home after a 12-hour shift when she was called back. She drove at 110 mph and stopped at no traffic lights to get back to the centre. "Chaos, that's what I saw," she said of her arrival. Coates said that by the time he reached the centre there were already more than 70 medical staff at work, and eight or nine surgeons helped evaluate patients to determine who was most in need of surgery. The most critically wounded sometimes had up to 20 people around their bed working on them. "It was a trauma bay full of at least 70 people and patients stacked everywhere. It was controlled chaos," Coates said. "At one time we had eight operating rooms going at the same time." The trauma centre had received 104 patients by early afternoon, most suffering gunshot wounds. Four died, 40 were released, 12 were in critical condition and eight were in surgery, spokeswoman Danita Cohen said. "It was all hands on deck. Word travelled very fast. People were very proud to come in," she said. Last year, the trauma centre had a training drill in which staff practiced receiving patients after a fictional mass shooting at a concert. "This is what we do, we were prepared for this," Mullan said. Across town, the scene at Sunrise Hospital was similar. "I have never seen a scene like the one I just saw this morning," U.S. Representative Ruben Kihuen of Nevada, whose district includes parts of the Las Vegas area, told NPR after visiting Sunrise. "There were about 190 people taking up every single bed possible, every single room possible, every single hallway possible," Kihuen said. "Every single nurse, every single doctor from all over the city came and are assisting a lot of these victims." Friends and relatives searched frantically for news on the injured, but the sheer volume of patients slowed the process. At Sunrise, Kihuen said, more than 90 of the 190 patients had no identification. Las Vegas police urged family members not to flood local hospitals in search of the missing, and telephone hotlines were set up to help locate missing loved ones. Police asked those wanting to donate blood to not go to the hospitals, because the staffs were overwhelmed with patients, and referred them to several area clinics. Paul Hwangpo, a Las Vegas Uber driver, said he had spent the day ferrying tourists and residents to the clinics to give blood. One had a six-hour wait, the other four hours, he said. Mullan said that emotionally the most difficult moments were when it came time to fill out paperwork for patients she knew only as Jane or John Doe. "When we have families coming up looking for loved ones and we have Doe's, that's overwhelming. I'm human. I cry. I'm sad for the loss," she said. But Mullan said she was proud of the way hospital staff had responded. "I've been a nurse for 30 years, and on the most tragic moment I've ever been involved in I was most proud to be a nurse," she said.

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My Random Act of Kindness Is to Help Change Strangers ...
'Urgently needed - rugs.' That was the message that started everything.I was shopping online for second-hand furniture and came across this Wanted Ad from a woman asking for rugs to cover her broken floor so her children wouldn't hurt their feet.She was a single mum who had fled a horrible domestic situation and was starting all over again with nothing. I wanted to help her, and was sure others would too, so I spread the word among my friends and family.Donations of bedding, toys and furniture started trickling in. I delivered them all to her one afternoon - she was in tears, not because of the things I was giving her, but because in that moment she realised she wasn't alone.I will never forget how that felt.I drove home on a high. It was only later that I learnt the science behind why I felt that way - kindness actually changes our brain chemistry and gives us a natural high.I wanted to do more. I wanted to do this every week. That's when I decided to starta Facebook page called 52 Lives to enable my friends and family to help people.Each week, we choose someone in need of help, share their story, request what they need, and our supporters offer help. It's based on the premise that people are good, that kindness in innate and that, when given the chance, people will help one another.Initially I had some mixed reactions. Some people thought the idea was wonderful, others found it odd and a bit confronting. I never used to think kindness could be confronting but over the years I've learnt that it can make people uncomfortable.I also had the inevitable question of 'how do you know these people you help are genuine' (We do vet people, if you're wondering the same thing!) But I loved what I was doing, and felt a surge of excitement at the start of every week.As word started to spread, strange names and faces were popping up on the Facebook page - people I didn't know wanted to get involved. It was so encouraging to see people I'd never met wanting to help., , helping your neighbor - these are not new concepts but people often find them hard to reconcile with the busyness of their day-to-day lives.Over the years, we have changed people's lives in so many weird and wonderful ways - from buying teeth for a man who had none to redecorating the bedroom of a little girl who has lost her mum and helping a homeless mother and son off the street.We give people tangible help, but I now know it's never the money we raise or the things we give people that make the difference - it's the kindness we show.A nine year old boy called Ben, who we helped last year, is a perfect example of that. Ben is cross-eyed and has autism, and was being severely bullied at school.One day, he came home with a handprint on his face. He finally opened up to his mum who decided to take him out of school. While it was the best for Ben to be home-schooled, he has no friends and has extreme anxiety.At home, he was sleeping in a single bed with two of his siblings and the carpet needed replacing - his anxiety can lead to Ben wetting himself and the carpet had become stained - but the family live on an incredibly low income.In one week, we raised almost £5,000 and bought new beds, bedding, carpet, Christmas presents and a mini break. But the most important thing we did was to show Ben that he wasn't alone.I believe it's that human connection that changes lives, not just of the person receiving, but also of the person giving.Kindness changes all of us. It improves our mental health and well-being, and ultimately determines what kind of life we have, and what kind of world we live in.If we want to live in a kind world, we need to be kind ourselves. Starting now.
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