LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A night that medical professionals in the Las Vegas valley will never forget. The emotional scars from Oct. 1, 2017, remain for many who worked at hospitals and medical centers on 1 October.
Dr. Jeff Davidson is an emergency medicine medical director at Valley Hospital who worked the night of the deadliest mass shooting in the modern U.S. took place. He said that night he pulled up to the emergency room’s entrance to find trucks, cars, and ambulances filled with patients in need of critical care.
1 October was one of the most difficult nights of his career.
“I’ve worked through all kinds of scenarios; I don’t think will ever rise and I hope it would never rise to what we worked through that evening,” said Davidson.
Dr. Davidson was getting ready for bed that night when his son was watching the news and seeing the chaos unfold. Minutes later he received a call from the hospital, they needed his help as soon as possible.
“I do remember driving down here, it seemed surreal, it had not sunk in what had happened, I don’t think anyone had anticipated it yet,” said Davidson.
He said the ER at Valley Hospital was filled with patients wounded and in critical condition trying to get in and be treated as fast as possible. He said it was like a scene out of a movie.
“Many of them fully dressed still, some of them with very obvious wounds, many of them with tourniquets that were timed so that we would know how long it had been on.”
Dr. Davidson said the emergency room was already busy when more than 60 victims arrived all needing immediate medical attention. He described the hospital as a war zone, a scene he will never forget.
“I hope no one ever has to go through this but until you go through it you realize you are thinking is taking a backseat to just working and doing,” said Davidson.
What kept him going were the people in his care, the patients whose lives were in his hands and the emotional hugs of comfort from those he saved.
“This was probably the first patient I physically assisted with that evening and has been in my mind for all of these years,” Davidson said.
1 October was a night that changed his life and everyone who worked in this emergency room.
“That evening will remain with me for the rest of my career,” Davidson explained.
Dr. Davidson said to this day many of his team members are still recovering. They have been working on their mental health and preparing for scenarios like this one to be able to provide immediate care when our community is in need.