ORLANDO FLORIDA : Physicians at Orlando Regional Medical Center on Tuesday detailed the scramble to save lives in an overwhelmed emergency room following the shooting spree at a gay nightclub that left 49 victims dead and dozens more struggling to survive.
Six victims of Sunday’s massacre remained in critical condition, officials said. Twenty-one others also remained hospitalized.
“I will be surprised if we don’t see the death toll rise” or see patients left with long-term injuries, physician Michael Cheatham said at a news conference at the hospital. The gunman was killed by police at Pulse, which was crowded with dancing revelers on Latin Night.
Cheatham said “there is no question that nurses saved lives” in the grueling hours as victims poured into the emergency room.
Trauma surgeon Chadwick Smith said he was on duty when shooting victims began arriving at the hospital shortly after 2 a.m.
“They were coming in non-stop,” Smith said of the victims. He began calling in more physicians: “I said ‘This is not a drill, this is not a joke.'”