Prepared but Distressed


The state of Connecticut, sadly in the news since the terrible shooting tragedy on Friday, December 14, has 34 hospitals serving patients on a daily basis. Danbury Hospital, a Level II Trauma Center, is 12 miles from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut where these unthinkable crimes took place. Around 10 a.m., physicians in its emergency room were notified of the school shooting incident.

Within ten minutes, 80 doctors, nurses and support staff positioned trauma teams at four emergency units and six operating rooms. Based on years of training and emergency planning, they were prepared for this most horrible of occurrences. At 10:30 a.m., three patients quickly arrived and the team immediately responded to their needs. Unfortunately, one of the patients would not survive due to severe injuries.

The remainder of the emergency team waited and waited. No patients came. At 12 noon, the hospital received another phone call. Emergency team members became visibly upset because of what the call meant – no additional survivors.

We express our sympathy to the parents, families and friends of the 27 victims of this shocking tragedy. We are also thankful for the first responders, emergency services personnel and trauma teams that performed difficult tasks in a caring and compassionate manner.

We hope this country never experiences another tragedy like the one in Newtown. Such moments cause deep contemplation. We become thankful for our North Texas emergency service workers for their dedication in protecting the community. We realize how fortunate we are to have the quality hospital trauma units and emergency room facilities available for our citizens. The state of Texas has approximately 365 hospitals serving its patients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council proudly serves 80 member hospitals across North Texas.

Our region is blessed with caring first responders, emergency physicians, trauma unit teams and support personnel. Like those heroic teams in Connecticut, they are prepared for unexpected tragic events. Many patients are alive at this very moment because they received immediate treatment from our professional medical emergency teams. 

Somehow a simple “thank you” is not enough, but it is a start.