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Trauma surgeon blasts frequent gun violence after YouTube shooting

“Once again, we are confronted with a specter of a mass casualty situation... this is unfortunate and it continues," Dr. Andre Campbell said


By Jenna Lyons and Erin Allday
San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO — Mass shootings are a routine occurrence for the trauma team at San Francisco General Hospital. One week it’s a deadly shootout in the Mission District, the next it’s people with life-threatening gunshot wounds coming in from Bayview or the South of Market neighborhood.

On Tuesday, three people at the YouTube campus in San Bruno were rushed to San Francisco’s only trauma ward after a woman shot them before turning the gun on herself, officials said.

“The reality is we have to deal with this all the time,” said Dr. Andre Campbell, a 23-year trauma surgeon at San Francisco General. “We have to deal with the families, the injuries. We have to deal with this constantly.

“This is a terrible day in the United States, when once again we have a multiple casualty situation.”

But it’s a terribly familiar day, too.

Speaking to a clutch of reporters outside the hospital’s emergency department, Campbell’s frustration was evident as he ran through the limited information he could provide on the patients’ injuries: one man in critical condition, one woman in serious and another woman stable. All were struck by bullets.

Asked whether any of the victims had suffered multiple injuries, Campbell answered — with some exasperation — that they all had two bullet holes.

“The reality is that last week we had a mass casualty situation here. The week before we had another. I didn’t see all these cameras out here today last week when I was here,” Campbell said to the gathered journalists.

His team has a procedure for mass casualties that is well tested. When a call comes in, he said, doctors, nurses, therapists and anyone else needed reports to the emergency room to prepare and triage patients.

“It starts with the care that patients receive in the field from dedicated paramedics,” Campbell said. “Once they come to us, they get an assessment. We go through things from top to bottom.”

Privacy laws prevented Campbell from giving more details about the patients treated on Tuesday, but he had pointed words about the latest tragedy: Mass shootings keep happening and no one seems able to make them stop.

“Once again, we are confronted with a specter of a mass casualty situation here in the city and county,” Campbell said. “This is unfortunate and it continues. You’d think after we’ve seen Las Vegas, Parkland, the Pulse nightclub shooting, that we would see an end to this. But we have not.”

Copyright 2018 San Francisco Chronicle

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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