Las Vegas hospitals continue to be overwhelmed with patients after hundreds of wounded swarmed the medical facilities within minutes of the horror deadly shooting.
From the walking wounded to the barely alive, doctors say the victims just kept coming in droves on Sunday night and well into Monday morning.
The victims were arriving in private cars and in ambulances that were backed up four or five deep as family members flooded the hospitals desperately searching for their injured loved ones.
Some of the injured even trekked six miles to get medical help.
From the walking wounded to the barely alive, doctors say the victims just kept arriving at hospital in droves on Sunday night and well into Monday morning
First responders desperately tried to treat people at the scene of the Las Vegas shooting Sunday night. Ambulances were backed up four or five deep at hospitals in the area
‘I have no idea who I operated on,’ said Dr. Jay Coates, a trauma surgeon whose hospital took in many of the wounded after a gunman opened fire from a Las Vegas hotel window on a country concert below.
‘They were coming in so fast, we were taking care of bodies. We were just trying to keep people from dying.’
As Sunday night led to Monday morning, the attack became the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history with 59 killed and 527 wounded.
University Medical Center of Southern Nevada was one of many hospitals that were overflowing. Patients also flooded other Vegas area hospitals, including Sunrise Hospital and St. Rose Dominican.
Doctors remain in overdrive with more surgeries to be carried out on Tuesday.
Tales of heroism and compassion emerged quickly as the healthy carried bleeding victims off the grounds (above) and strangers drove victims to hospitals in their own cars
People assist a wounded woman by carrying her through the nearby Tropicana hotel after the mass shooting
‘Every bed was full,’ Coates said. ‘We had people in the hallways, people outside and more people coming in.’
He said the huge, horrifying wounds on his operating table that told him it wasn’t just the massive numbers that made this shooting different.
‘It was very clear that the first patient I took back and operated on that this was a high-powered weapon,’ Coates said. ‘This wasn’t a normal street weapon. This was something that did a lot of damage when it entered the body cavity,’ Coates said.
He said he had seen similar wounds before but ‘of course never this many patients’.
The gunman, 64-year-old retired accountant Stephen Paddock, killed himself as authorities stormed his hotel room.
He had 23 guns – some with scopes – in the room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino where he had been staying since Thursday. He knocked out two windows to create sniper’s perches he used to rain torrents of bullets on the crowd of 22,000 some 500 yards away.
Investigators load bodies from the scene of the mass shooting on Monday; the mass shooting that occurred on Sunday is the deadliest in American history
Hundreds of people started lining up (above) before the sun even rose on Monday to donate blood at a number of banks in the Vegas area
At Paddock’s home, authorities found 19 more guns, explosives and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Also, several pounds of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that can be turned into explosives, were in his car.
Tales of heroism and compassion emerged quickly as the healthy carried bleeding victims off the grounds and strangers drove victims to hospitals in their own cars.
Coates, the trauma surgeon, said it was not for lack of preparation that lives were lost, though with smaller numbers they might have saved more.
‘I will tell you that everybody that should have lived, lived,’ Coates said.
‘The ones that we lost, I think if they had been the only patients coming through the door that we would have been able to save them.
Authorities put out a call for blood donations and set up a hotline to report missing people and speed the identification of the dead and wounded.
Hundreds of people started lining up before the sun even rose on Monday to donate blood at a number of banks in the Vegas area. There reports of waiting times of up to five hours to donate.
Inside the nest: The smashed windows from the suite taken out by Paddock at the Mandalay Hotel in Las Vegas from where he opened fire
The gunman, 64-year-old retired accountant Stephen Paddock, killed himself as authorities stormed his hotel room
Stephen Paddock, 64, turned his luxury Las Vegas hotel suite into a sniper’s nest on Sunday by smashing open two windows on the hotel’s corner and setting up two guns on tripods before opening fire on the Route 91 Harvest music festival below