LUBBOCK, TX -- It's because of University Medical Center's "Trauma 1" status that two of the victims of the Roswell school shooting were airlifted here to Lubbock.
"For this specific situation [one of the patients] came in via helicopter," according to Alison Barron, the emergency center's assistant director. "He was on medication to help him be sedated, and for his blood pressure."
One arrived by helicopter, the other by a plane to Lubbock International Airport. Workers had tried to stablize the two victims at a local medical facility, but soon realized their injuries were beyond their capacity.
"So once they got them there, they started realizing 'this is much worse than we can handle as a facility, we need to transfer them to a higher level of care'," Barron says.
UMC says the most critical of the two gunshot victims, Nathaniel Tavarez, was in their pediatric trauma room for more than an hour. That's twice as long as most trauma victims.
While national media has directed their attention to UMC, their emergency center staff says Tuesday was just another day in the line of duty.
"To us, regardless of the national attention, it really depends on the care of the patient. I mean, all the injured people we care for, they have families, and loved ones, that's what matters to us," says Dr. Christopher Piel, the emergency center's medical director. "The press just is what it is."**so once they got them there, they started realizing this is much worse than we can handle as a facility, we need to transfer them to a higher level of care.**