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Doctors describe 'surreal' experience treating Highland Park mass shooting victims

Hospital added staff to help treat victims of parade shooting
Hospital added staff to help treat victims of parade shooting 03:34

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (CBS) -- Physicians at Highland Park Hospital described their efforts to treat more than two dozen victims of Monday's mass shooting at a July 4th parade.

NorthShore University Health System officials said 38 total victims with injuries were taken to hospitals via ambulance or other vehicles.

"There's been a lot of different events that have happened in the United States, and this obviously now has hit very close to home. It is a little surreal to have to take care of an event such as this, but all of us have gone through extensive training," said Dr. Brigham Temple, the medial director of emergency preparedness at NorthShore University Health System. "We go through a number of different programs, training. We practice for these events even though we hope they never happen. So I think our team very admirably handled the situation today."

Officials added that 25 of those taken to the hospital with injuries sustained gunshot wounds and 19 were treated and discharged as of Monday evening, Temple said. Two of the patients were still in the hospital Monday night, and others were transported to area hospitals in Evanston, Glenbrook and Lake Forest.

Temple added the patients with injuries at Highland Park Hospital ranged in age from 8 to 85 years old. He said "four or five" of the those hospitalized were children.

Highland Park Hospital was placed on alert immediately after the shooting, quickly moving into a lockdown.

Within 30 minutes, 20 additional doctors and a number of nurses and support staff were brought in to help treat patients, 25 of them who had suffered gunshot wounds.

Doctors said 15 of those victims managed to get themselves to the hospital.

"There was a child who was shot and injured here that was too unstable to transfer. So the trauma surgeons and the anesthesiologists and the nurses – all of whom did an extraordinary job, really nothing short of heroic -- they stabilized that patient, repaired the injuries that needed to be repaired, and that child is now en route to University of Chicago by helicopter to [Comer] Children's Hospital," said Dr. Mark Talamonti, chairman of the Department of Surgery at Highland Park Hospital.

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