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Shooting at the school of Uvalde |  local hospital treats survivors

Uvalde Memorial Hospital CEO Tom Nordwick said there was massive help from the team to help hospital workers.

UVALDE, Texas — The shooting at Robb Elementary School left 21 unnecessary victims and many injured. KENS 5 employees spoke with Uvalde Memorial Hospital CEO Tom Nordwick about survivors being treated at his facility.

Following the shooting, 15 people were initially delivered to Uvalde Memorial Hospital.

“Patients arrived by ambulance and then by school bus. And the school bus actually came to the main entrance instead of the emergency area. So these people, these children, ended up being brought through the main hall of the hospital,” Nordwick said. “Normally, when you’re not an outpatient and you’re not sure whether to come in or something, we’d probably bring you in through the ambulance entrance. ”

Only one of the many students who arrived on the school bus entered. All other students were helped on stretchers or wheelchairs.

“There are some who have been injured in a very traumatic way and others who have been less so,” Nordwick said.

According to Nordwick, 11 of the victims were children and 4 were adults. Four of the youths were transferred to hospitals in San Antonio and one adult was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center.

The other ten patients at Uvalde were cared for by employees of the Uvalde Memorial Hospital.

While Nordwick says hospital workers are used to life-and-death conditions, an influx of 15 patients won’t be something they’re typically staffed for.

“But when we received the report from the active shooters, we brought in a general surgeon. We had several parties and an orthopedic surgeon, an internal medicine specialist from the community and several family medicine physicians from their offices came. .”

After treating the patients involved in such a horrific incident, Nordwick knows its employees will need therapy spaces.

“They see this stuff, but it was still traumatic for them. Maybe not then, but it’s almost post-traumatic in some ways, I guess you’d call it. They were all touched by it in one way or another. A lot of people in the ER and in our entire hospital as a whole knew people there (or had relatives there, you know). So the effects of that are quite traumatic.

“We have had people who have lost family members, not immediate family members, but family members nonetheless. And I had an individual whose spouse was a law enforcement officer and was involved in the whole situation. So yes, it has been traumatic for them and we are doing counseling,” Nordwick added.

Morning and evening prayers are also held regularly in the chapel for the next two weeks.

“There was an outpouring of people who offered their services to our ER staff and some to our medical and ICU and OB staff to provide relief so they could deal with their family issues,” Nordwick said. .

He said the hospital treated gunshot victim Irma Garcia’s husband, Guadalupe “Joe” Garcia, who died intentionally after Irma of a heart attack, according to the family.

Nordwick was also unsure of the current situation of one of the children who had been transferred to other hospitals. At the time they were transferred, two were in a significant situation and two in a good situation.

To end his conversation with KENS 5, Nordwick explained how he sees the way forward.

“What I have noticed throughout my career is that they are more and more confronted with the management of mental illness in the emergency room. And there’s not enough mental health (resources) available, especially in these rural communities,” he said. “We must, as a nation and a state, try to address these mental health issues for our school.”

“You know, we need to invest more in infrastructure in our schools, whether it’s camera surveillance in classrooms in different areas, whether it’s safe rooms in schools, but providing the tools for a safe environment for our children, the staff who work there. And then we also have to support our law enforcement. I know there’s a lot of finger pointing today and it’s not healthy. These police officers are all putting themselves the days in the line of fire to protect us, and that’s what they did here.

San Antonio-area residents trying to help rural hospitals like Uvalde can donate blood with South Texas Blood and Tissue, which announced Thursday that it has received more than 1,500 donations in the past two days.


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