Trauma doctor recalls handling mass-shooting victims


REDDING, Calif. - Head trauma doctor at Mercy Medical Center in Redding, Dr. Aaron Osborne, is thankful his team was ready to take victims in from the Rancho Tehama Shooting, Tuesday morning.

Mercy Medical Center was one of the hospitals to operate on victims from the Rancho Tehama Shooting Tuesday. Three victims were air-lifted to Mercy in moments after the shooting. Doctor Aaron Osborne is the Executive Director and Head Trauma Surgeon at Mercy Medical Center and has been for over twelve years. He was one of the physicians to operate on these victims, in need of critical care. Doctor Osborne says he had a patient on the table when he got word of the shooting.

"By the time we started receiving patients I had completed that surgery and was on my way to the emergency department to sort out the situation," Doctor Osborne said. Mercy has an entire mass casualty situation plan in place for incidents like the Rancho Tehama Shooting.

"It starts with paging and texting physicians and nurses, supporting staff and the emergency room and operating room and alerting them we might have a situation where we might be receiving multiple critically injured patients," Doctor Osborne explained.

With Mercy being a hub for rural communities in need of emergency care, it was crucial they had a system in place like this in order to perform damage control.

"It's mission critical. Mercy Medical Center is a level two trauma center and in ways we're a critical access for a large portion of Northern California," Doctor Osborne said.

He further explained that he deals with horrible emergency situations such as shootings on a daily basis, "But on Tuesday, without knowing exactly who or how many we were going to receive, it heightens everyone's senses and forces us to think about what our next step is going to be."

With seven different active shooting scenes under investigation that day, not even law enforcement could predict how many more patients they'd be seeing. But the staff was prepared and Doctor Osborne is grateful they were.

"In a situation like this I'm always very thankful for the abilities God has given me to be able to take care of these patients," Doctor Osborne said.

Patient names have not been released, however, all three Mercy patients have been reported to be okay and one is said to be recovering at Mercy Medical Center.

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