MEMPHIS, Tenn.— Memphis area hospitals are dealing with an influx of patients after the shooting at a Collierville Kroger. Thanks to rigorous training and preparation, they managed to transport all victims to a receive care.
“When you talk about are we prepared? We have some of the finest trauma surgeons in the nation here at Regional One Health,” Dr. Reginald Coopwood said at a press conference Friday.
Those trauma surgeons at Regional Medical Center, the Mid-South’s only trauma hospital, were put to the test Thursday after the call came in regarding the mass shooting at the Kroger in Collierville.
Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane says 15 people were shot by the gunman: ten employees and five customers.
Hospital officials say they immediately jumped into action, dispatching eight helicopters to the scene.
However, officials say no one needed to be airlifted due to the quick response from the multiple ambulance services.
“The key is to get the patient here as quickly as possible. The ground ambulances were there. They did exactly what they were supposed to do which is grab the patients and move.”
Regional One officials said out of the 15 victims, they took in eight patients.
Three had to go to emergency surgery.
Chief of Trauma Dr. Andy Kerwin says the hospital enacted their disaster plan, a plan that’s been in the making for five years.
He says they called in additional staff to assist. Dr. Kerwin says one patient has since been released and six others are still hospitalized.
Of the six, three are in critical condition. Unfortunately, one patient has died.
Hospital officials confirm that patient was Olivia King – a widowed mother of three.
Despite the loss of life, hospital officials say they are pleased with not only their response but the response from surrounding hospitals.
“It was a phenomenal response from everyone in the entire region,” Dr. Peter Fischer said, the Trauma Center Medical Director. “From the Methodist University, St. Francis, Baptist, all of which were willing to help and help tremendously in this situation to make sure that they were able to take patients as well and were ready to take patients.”
We’ve reached out to a few of the other area hospitals for updates on the other victims. Methodist University says one patient has been discharged and the other is stable.
Officials at Baptist say they received two patients, and both were discharged last night.
Regional Medical Center officials say 20-percent of their patients are COVID patients, but all were able to be moved to accommodate the new patients.