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Broward Health staff reflect on airport attack: 'It always affects you'

54 patients taken to hospital Friday, 6 with gunshot wounds

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Things turned from clam to chaotic in a matter of seconds Friday in the emergency department at Broward Health when victims of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shooting were brought in for treatment.

The nurses and surgeons at the level one trauma center were trained for a mass casualty situation and seamlessly took care of the 54 patients who were brought in back-to-back.

 "I came in to triage any type of injury involved in my specialty of surgery, which is brain or spine injury," Dr. Christopher Roberts, a neurosurgeon at Broward Health, said.

Of those patients, six had gunshot wounds and the were suffering from panic attacks, chest pains or injuries from falling.

In a surveillance video from the baggage claim area at of Terminal 2, a man is seen walking with two small children. Moments later, he was among those who were injured in the attack.

Broward Health CEO Mark Sprada said he is proud of the hospital's staff and the performance of trauma surgeons.

"It was like an organized symphony. We didn't miss a hiccup and we accommodated all the shooting victims," he said.

Hospital staff said the airport attack affected them emotionally, but they stayed focused on treating their patients and dealt with their emotions afterward.

"It always affects you, but you put on your work clothes, and when they come in you get down to business on what you have to do and you go home and have to deal with it later,"  Marcy Heuman, a trauma nurse at Broward Health, said.


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