A trauma surgeon in Texas who operated on children wounded in the Uvalde school shooting said that she and her team mobilized quickly once they were notified about the shooting — and knew how to respond due to their experience with the Sutherland Springs church shooting in 2017, which left 26 dead.
"Sadly, we were prepared for and thought we would get more patients than we did," Dr. Lillian Liao, the director of pediatric trauma at University Hospital in San Antonio, told CBS News.
Liao said it could take hours to get victims from the scene. But due to measures like a blood transfusion program that started in the South Texas area in 2020, trauma teams were able to begin working on patients more quickly.
"This is the reason why every part of the country needs a strong trauma system — is that coordination of care and getting patients to the right facility in the shortest amount of time possible," she said.
Liao said the injuries in children from Tuesday's mass shooting were "high-velocity firearm injuries." Compared to injuries from handguns, she said these weapons have a more destructive impact on the body.