On this past Martin Luther King holiday, we featured a blog post on the initial 'golden' hour after traumatic injury and how first responders at a scene such as the Safeway shooting must quickly make critical care decisions to prevent death and organ damage. Most traumatic deaths occur in the pre-hospital setting. In 1968, Dr. King didn't survive the first hour after his shooting and was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital. In 2011, Rep. Giffords did survive her assassination attempt, which largely can be attributed to the quick response and trauma medical team’s coordination, communication, and emergency expertise, both before and after her arrival, at the Arizona University Medical Center.
NPR's Jan 18 Talk of the Nation interviewed some of the first responders from the Safeway Massacre:
Dr. Randall Friese, trauma surgeon, University of Arizona medical center
Dr. Michael Millin, emergency physician, Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore
Adam Goldberg, captain paramedic, Northwest Fire/Rescue district, Tucson
"After a gunman opened fire at a shopping center in Tucson, first responders arrived on the scene within minutes. Some focused on the shooter and security, others on the 19 victims and on a critical series of decisions and procedures known as triage: who needed attention immediately, who could wait until more resources became available, who was beyond help.
Though nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green did not respond to CPR, she was assigned immediate attention and was among the first to arrive at University of Arizona Medical Center..."