Doctors who treated Pulse victims prepared Las Vegas hospital for mass shooting

Doctors who worked on victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting in June, 2016 were in Las Vegas discussing what they learned with doctors.

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The doctors from Orlando Regional Medical Center were in Las Vegas two weeks before Sunday’s deadly concert mass shooting.

“The horror of their tragedy was so similar to ours,” said Dr. Gary Parrish, ORMC medical director of the emergency department.

At Pulse nightclub in June 2016, 49 people were killed and more than 50 others were injured in Orlando.

More than 50 were killed Sunday night and hundreds of others were injured at a country concert in Las Vegas when a gunman at Mandalay Bay hotel opened fire.

Parrish ran ORMC’s department on the night of Pulse, and two months ago he spoke to Nevada’s only Level I trauma center UMC in Las Vegas.

Parrish said that he shared his experience from the moments, days, even months after the massacre at Pulse.

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"What I told them was they need to be prepared for the rest of the story,” Parrish said.

Parrish said every major hospital trains for mass casualty events, but he wanted medical staff in Las Vegas to know what he felt his team wasn't quite ready for.

"The patient identification process. The family reunification process,” Parrish said.

He said the damage caused by higher velocity firearms doesn't compare to a typical gunshot wound.

"I have no doubt those injuries were more severe than they might otherwise see,” Parrish said.

Parrish said the experience sticks with him and likely always will. He knows Las Vegas doctors and nurses will understand that soon, too. He just hopes sharing his story helped them cope a little better with their own.

"I tell them, I hope it never happens again. But the reason they're interested in having some of our staff there is because we all have a sense that it's very likely this may happen again,” Parrish said.

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