The Tragedy in Las Vegas

As we mourn the victims in Las Vegas, we recognize the heroic physicians, surgeons, and health care teams at Nevada’s only Level 1 trauma center.
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It is hard to find words to adequately convey our sorrow for the people who were killed or injured by the horrific shooting in Las Vegas last week.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to them and their families.

The University Medical Center Southern Nevada (UMC) received many of the most critically injured patients. A teaching hospital, UMC includes the state’s only Level 1 trauma center and is a major training site for the next generation of Nevada’s physicians and health care professionals. To be designated as a Level 1 trauma center, hospitals must have 24-hour in-house coverage by general surgeons, and prompt availability of care in specialties such as orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, radiology, plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial, pediatric, and critical care.  These institutions also must serve as a crucial resource for nearby communities, provide continuing education for their trauma care teams, and operate an organized teaching and research effort to help direct new innovations in trauma care, among other requirements.

While the loss of life from this shooting is staggering, the intensive preparation and training that hospitals and their staffs have undertaken to deal with mass casualties certainly also saved many lives. On behalf of my colleagues at the AAMC and the academic medicine community, we are profoundly grateful for and proud of the heroic physicians, surgeons, and health care teams who are working tirelessly to care for the hundreds of victims. Their skill and commitment is the best of American health care and medicine in action.