Despite a rigidly enforced news blackout in my household, the really bad events have a way of surfacing. When I heard hundreds of people were victims of gunshot wounds in Las Vegas the logistics of treating this much trauma boggled my mind.
Three gunshot wounds were enough to wreak havoc in our busy Chicago OR. We used to mark preop X-rays with paper clips in a usually futile attempt to track trajectory. Projectiles can bounce or tumble after striking bone. The deflected path is difficult to assess. A box of paperclips lasted for years in the old time OR. I wonder if CT scans have eliminated the paper clip markers, but it's painful to think how many paper clips would be needed for hundreds of people.
The aftermath of mass shootings is becoming well scripted. The shooter is characterized as a psychotic madman which further unfairly stigmatizes the mentally ill. Politicians praise first responders and express sympathy for the victims. I heard one senator said it was to early in the investigation to consider legislative solutions. What more investigation is needed after learning the extent of the slaughter.
The gun rights folks will cite the second amendment which was crafted in an age of muzzle loaded weapons which took time to reload. I don't think our forefathers envisioned wide distribution of rapid fire assault type weapons, but gun folks might allude to the notion that it's a price that must be paid for freedom.
I wish folks could see how powerful guns are when bullets meet human flesh. Tiny entrance wounds give way to shredded small bowel and lacerated livers. If shooters knew how tired hands get loading hundreds of needle drivers or counting pack after pack of 4X4s they might see things differently.
I am so sorry for the victims and cannot fathom how surgeons and nurses could treat so much trauma.