A delegation of emergency managers and emergency medicine physicians from nine New York State health systems, plus representatives from several government agencies, visited Las Vegas February 1-2 to learn about its response to the October 1 mass shooting in which 58 were killed and more than 500 injured.

Organized at the request of GNYHA’s Board of Governors and carried out in collaboration with the Nevada Hospital Association (NHA), the delegation included the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), NYC Emergency Management, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the US Department of State Diplomatic Service.

NY delegation visits one hospital that received victims during the October 1 shooting

The visit began with a tour of key locations related to the shooting, followed by visits to three hospitals that received victims: University Medical Center, Desert Springs Hospital, and Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. Delegation members met with hospital staff involved in the October 1 response and with representatives from Las Vegas’ police, EMS, public health, and medical examiner agencies.

Key takeaways include:

  • Only one-fifth of all victims arrived at hospitals in ambulances; the majority arrived in private vehicles, including Uber and Lyft vehicles
  • Many victims experienced positive outcomes because upon arrival, hospital staff aggressively triaged them and continuously re-triaged them to do the greatest good for the most people
  • Patient tracking and family reunification were extremely challenging because so many patients arrived within a small span of time and because many patients had no identification

GNYHA and the NHA will publish a summary of the visit. Information gleaned from the trip will inform mass casualty incident (MCI) response planning at the facility, health system, and jurisdictional levels. GNYHA looks forward to hosting a delegation from Nevada this spring, during which the New York community will share its approaches to MCI response.