Isla Vista shooting: Chaos in emergency room after rampage

Trauma surgeon describes chaos in the emergency room after Isla Vista rampage

Minutes after the shooting rampage in Isla Vista on Friday night, Pamela Lee,  the on-call trauma surgeon at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, was told that a group of people, some with bullet injuries, were on their way to the emergency room.

Santa Barbara authorities have identified Elliot Rodger as the man who took to the streets of the college community, shooting people and striking them with his black BMW. The attack began shortly before 9:30 p.m. and lasted about 10 minutes, said the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office, leaving seven dead, including Rodger, and 13 wounded.

Seven of the most seriously injured were brought to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Lee said. The others were taken to Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital.

The first patient at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital arrived about 9:45 p.m and the last patient came in about 10 p.m., Lee said. Of the seven, five of them had gunshot wounds and two of them were hurt after being hit with a car.

Within seconds, the seven patients were being evaluated.

“Santa Barbara is a pretty sleepy town, we do get random gunshot wounds, but mostly stab wounds,” Lee said. “For us to get something like this is totally out of the ordinary.”

All of the trauma doctors received a text notification of the incoming injured students, and all of them came in, Lee said, even those who weren’t on duty.

The most serious injury belonged to a man who suffered extensive damage to his abdomen and had to be taken to the operating room, Lee said. He remains hospitalized.

Two people were in the intensive care unit and listed as in serious condition. The other five were described as being in stable condition and were expected to stay through at least Sunday, Lee said.

“It’s chaos when someone hits the ER, especially seven victims all at once,” Lee said. “Everybody has a personality, just like in any workplace, but everyone put that aside and got everything done, it makes me proud.”

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