Trauma team at Vandy still reeling from Marshall Co. mass shooting

NASHVILLE (WKYT) - The medical director of trauma at Vanderbilt University Medical Center is still reeling after the mass school shooting in Marshall County Jan. 23.

"The reflection, the age of these children, it starts to sink in a little bit later," explained Dr. Oscar Guillamondegui.

In the moment, Dr. Guillamondegui said they were focused on each patient flying in from Kentucky.

"We hear the reports on the radio and they just start coming one after another. We just prepared for each of them as if they were as sick as the next," he told WKYT's Miranda Combs.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is a level one trauma center, like the University of Kentucky Hospital. The distinction means they are able to deal with the most severe trauma cases.

Five of the 14 students who were shot were transported to Vanderbilt. Fifteen-year-old Preston Cope died in the hospital's intensive care unit.

"We had the patient up to the ICU but he subsequently passed away upon arrival up in the ICU. There was no way we were going to be able to save him. He had a tragic injury," recalled Dr. Guillamondegui.

Even though the hospital is trained for the event in Marshall County, the trauma team still learned a lot.

"We've had several debriefs," explained Dr. Guillamondegui, "I mean everything from how do you manage a couple hundred family members, to how do you keep everybody straight, and how do you deal with the after effect with your entire team?"

Dr. Guillamondegui hopes this will be a push for people to join the federal "Stop the Bleed" campaign, where people are taught how to deal with emergency bleeding when seconds count.

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