American Tragedy

Reeling from another mass shooting on Sunday at a Las Vegas concert, the US once again confronts its recurring nightmare of gun violence.

With the death toll of the deadliest mass shooting at 59 and over 500 injuries, according to Reuters, the US debate over gun violence resurfaces—with gun control advocates calling for action instead of familiar statements about “thoughts and prayers.”

“When a patient comes to the ER doctors don’t wait a day for thoughts and prayers," writes James Hamblin in The Atlantic.

The tragedy also highlights the need for an overhaul of trauma care. In the wake of Sunday’s devastating attack in Las Vegas, Nevada’s only Level I trauma center was overwhelmed, treating at least 30 critical patients and 100 more in its ER. Community hospitals were swamped too, lacking the necessary trauma expertise to treat the grave injuries that flood their facilities during mass casualty events.

To maximize hospital capacity during large-scale disasters, there must be a concerted effort to integrate specialized trauma centers with community hospitals—a key process that is emerging with new health care coalitions, writes Eric Toner, MD of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in The Bifurcated Needle.

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