Back to Top Skip to main content

Trauma chief praises medical response to Sutherland Springs shooting

As a Level I trauma center, Brooke Army Medical Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, received patients from the Nov. 5, 2017, mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. (U.S. Army file photo) As a Level I trauma center, Brooke Army Medical Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, received patients from the Nov. 5, 2017, mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. (U.S. Army file photo)

Recommended Content:

Civil Military Medicine | Civil Support | Military Hospitals and Clinics | San Antonio

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas  — The community teamwork and medical response here the afternoon of the Sutherland Springs shooting was "extremely heartwarming," the trauma chief at Brooke Army Medical Center said.

"When people heard about the shooting, we didn't have to do a recall. People came in immediately and pitched in, … not to watch, but to help," said Army Col. (Dr.) Kurt Edwards, who received patients and directed care that night.

"We ended up with more medical staff in the operating rooms, emergency department and [intensive care units] than we needed," he said.

As a Level I trauma center, Brooke Army Medical Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, treated eight victims from the Nov. 5, 2017, mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. (U.S. Army file photo)As a Level I trauma center, Brooke Army Medical Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, treated eight victims from the Nov. 5, 2017, mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. (U.S. Army file photo)

BAMC received eight victims – six adults and two minors – from the Nov. 5 mass shooting in the small community church in Sutherland Springs, about 30 miles east of San Antonio. One adult patient was discharged last week, and seven remain in BAMC's care.

The Initial Call

Air Force Maj. Belinda Kelley, the shift leader that night in the ER, received the initial call. "We were told we were possibly getting quite a few patients after a shooting at a church," Kelley recalled. "We weren't sure how many were coming here, but were told there were potentially 30 shot." Kelley later learned that 26 people had been killed and 20 injured that Sunday afternoon.

The situation was well controlled at BAMC, Edwards noted. "We had about a 30-minute warning. We started prepping for any eventuality to ensure adequate coverage. We opened up 15 trauma bays in preparation."

BAMC received four patients at first, then an additional four not long after.  "It was disheartening to see that the injuries were not dissimilar to those in combat," said Edwards, who has deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan. "To see people who had been sitting in a church having similar injuries to those in a combat zone [is] not something you want to see."

The seven patients' conditions currently range from good to critical. "They are all getting better," Edwards noted.

Team Effort

Edwards praised the first responders and the trauma partnership within the city that led to an effective response. BAMC and University Health System are the only Level I trauma centers in the San Antonio region, caring for civilian trauma patients over a 23,000-square-mile radius. On average, BAMC cares for 3,000 trauma patients each year.

"Both BAMC and University provide the highest level of trauma care together, and we do it every day," he noted. "It's an amazing partnership, especially when we are working together to care for people after a devastating tragedy."

"The staff response has been professional, efficient and caring," said Army Col. Michael Ludwig, deputy commander for inpatient services. "I could not be more proud of the staff – everyone from housekeeping to the technicians to our senior leaders."

Kelley said she's proud to work at the military's only Level I trauma center.

"As a nurse, it's a very emotional place," she said, "especially when I pick up the phone and someone is looking for a loved one. If I walk out of here and can't cry, then I can't come back, because that means I don't care any more.  Caring is what I do."

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

USAISR burn flight team deploys to Guatemala

Article
7/5/2018
Army Capt. Argelia Felix-Camacho, a critical care nurse at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Burn Center and member of the USAISR Burn Center Burn Flight Team comforts a patient in Guatemala before a flight to the Shriner's Hospital for Children in Galveston, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Corenthia Fennell)

The patients -- all children needing specialized treatment -- and the teamwork between the Army and Air Force ensured the patients' safe transport from Guatemala to the U.S.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Civil Military Medicine | Civil Support | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

Operation Bobcat provides free healthcare to residents of Eastern Kentucky

Article
7/2/2018
Area residents line up outside Lee County High School in Beattyville, Kentucky to receive treatment at a health-care clinic being operated by the Air National Guard and U.S. Navy Reserve. The clinic is one of four that comprised Operation Bobcat, a 10-day mission to provide military medical troops with crucial training in field operations and logistics while offering no-cost health care to the residents of Eastern Kentucky. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Dale Greer)

The primary purpose of Operation Bobcat is to provide military medical troops with crucial training

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Civil Military Medicine | Civil Support

U.S. Air Force airlifts Guatemalan children injured by volcano

Article
6/8/2018
Members of the U.S. Air Force Critical Care Air Transport Team (Pedicatics) assist Guatemalan medical personnel with loading injured patients on board a Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III. The aircrew from the 172nd Airlift Wing, transported six children from Guatemala to receive medical treatment in the United States for burns and other injuries sustained during the June 3, 2018 Fuego Volcano eruption. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Edward Staton)

The Air Force flew the children and their guardians to receive treatment in Galveston, Texas

Recommended Content:

Civil Support | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

Two MHS providers achieve top scores in the patient experience survey

Article
6/4/2018
Recently, the MHS published its annual “Best of the Best” report, taking a closer look on MHS providers, departments and facilities who earned top honors based on JOES survey results.

The MHS recently published its annual “Best of the Best” report on medical providers

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | Quality and Safety of Health Care (for Healthcare Professionals)

Project Sea Raven delivers cutting-edge pathogen detection technology

Article
5/31/2018
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class James Bowes, senior preventive-medicine technician, places mosquitoes on a dish to view under a microscope. Project Sea Raven’s capabilities are not limited to just insects – it can test anything from blood to soil and water. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Ouellette)

Project Sea Raven is now an integral part of USNS Mercy’s microbiology capacity

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Technology | Military Hospitals and Clinics

The journey to military nursing is different for all

Article
5/9/2018
First Lt. Lizamara Bedolla, staff nurse, Surgical Ward, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, stands in one of her unit’s inpatient rooms. Bedolla, a native of Houston, was born in war-torn Nicaragua before migrating to the United States and fulfilling her dream of becoming an Army Nurse. (Army photo by Marcy Sanchez)

During National Nurses Week, two Army nurses share insight into their jobs, what motivated them to make a career change, and why they love what they do.

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics

Multinational surgeons participate in first robot-assisted surgery onboard USNS Mercy

Article
5/7/2018
Surgical staff assigned to Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy for Pacific Partnership 2018 and the Sri Lankan surgical team from Base Hospital Mutur connect the probes of the Da Vinci XI Robot Surgical System to a patient during the first robot-assisted surgery while aboard the Mercy. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kelsey L. Adams)

A joint team of multinational surgeons successfully completed a gall bladder removal, using a Da Vinci XI Robot Surgical System

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Migration to Defense Health Agency to modernize Army medicine, surgeon general says

Article
5/2/2018
Lt. Gen. Nadja Y. West, the Army Surgeon General and commanding general for Army Medical Command, addressed the Army's fiscal year 2019 funding request and budget justification before the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations on Capitol Hill, April 26. (Courtesy photo provided by the Senate Appropriations Committee)

Army Medicine has the opportunity to make significant improvements in healthcare

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

New simulator preps WBAMC staff for OB emergencies

Article
5/1/2018
Regina Vadney, nurse midwife, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, evaluates a medical manikin using WBAMC's new simulation system which provides cutting-edge training to medical staff during a simulated postpartum hemorrhage scenario. The new simulation system aims to increase communication, and improve interdisciplinary and clinical performance of staff when treating obstetric emergencies. (U.S. Army photo by Marcy Sanchez)

The state-of-the-art simulator provides medical staff up to various cutting-edge training scenarios

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Women's Health | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Surgeons general testify on medical readiness at senate hearing

Article
4/30/2018
Air Force Maj. Michael Rawlins, 60th Surgical Operations Squadron, takes out a piece of stomach during a surgery at David Grant USAF Medical Center, Travis Air Force Base, California. (U.S. Air Force by photo Louis Briscese)

The services’ surgeons general updated senators on Capitol Hill on the needs and priorities of military health programs

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | Health Readiness

Occupational therapists showcase their grasp for your grip

Article
4/24/2018
Navy Cmdr. Christopher Keith, Naval Hospital Bremerton Director Clinical Support Services attempts his grip on the hand dynamometer to not only test his isometric strength, but more importantly, gauge for other health conditions such as cerebrovascular accident, or what is more commonly known as a stroke. (U.S. Navy photo by Douglas Stutz)

Occupational therapists use a holistic approach to rehabilitate and treat physical, psychological and even emotional injuries

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics

RESET improves pediatric care

Article
4/18/2018
Air Force Capt. Joseph Migliuri, 92nd Medical Group pediatrician, performs a wellness vision exam during a patient’s check-up at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The pediatric team has implemented a new concept of operations: rewarding, efficiency, setting priorities and empowering team members, or RESET, to their system of patient care. The integration of RESET in the Military Health System Genesis workflow has improved the clinic’s goals of patient access and care. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Whitney Laine)

The aim of RESET is to improve access to care for the patient population

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Military providers seek tailored approach to treating PTSD

Article
3/14/2018
The VA/DoD clinical practice guideline for managing post-traumatic stress disorder and acute stress disorder recommends against prescribing benzodiazepines. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Pick)

New tool reviews, monitors provider prescribing habits

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Military Hospitals and Clinics | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

USNS Mercy deploys in support of Pacific Partnership 2018

Article
3/1/2018
The hospital ship USNS Mercy departs Naval Base San Diego in support of Pacific Partnership 2018, Feb. 23, 2018. Pacific Partnership, now in its 13th iteration, is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kelsey Adams)

Medical, dental, civil engineering and veterinary teams will partner with each host nation

Recommended Content:

Civil Military Medicine | Civil Support | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief | Veterinary Service

Advancements in telehealth improve access to healthcare

Article
2/23/2018
Air Force Medical Service Seal

Telehealth brings a range of services all working together to improve access

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | Military Hospitals and Clinics | Technology
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 7

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.