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Doctors describe scene at hospital after Las Vegas shooting

Doctors describe chaos in Vegas
Doctors describe aftermath of Las Vegas massacre 03:06

LAS VEGAS -- There was no shortage of heroes Sunday night at Sunrise Hospital, the closest trauma center to the Las Vegas Strip. As the injured streamed in, so did 100 doctors and 100 nurses. 

Some of them shared their experiences of that awful night with CBS News' Anthony Mason.

"Ambulances were just coming from everywhere," said Dorita Sondereker, Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center's director of emergency services. "There were pick-up trucks with patients just cutting in front of me and just trying to come to the emergency room."

Sondereker, as well as ER Dr. Jason Katz and medical director Scott Scherer, were in the middle of the chaos as the wounded flooded in.

From left, Jason Katz, Scott Scherer and Dorita Sondereker CBS News

"There was blood everywhere, and honestly, I want to say bodies on stretchers everywhere," Sondereker said. "The patients kept rolling in and we were just trying to find placement for everybody."

"All penetrating bullet wounds, whether it was shrapnel or whether it was direct hits, the sickest patients had direct hits to the torso or abdomen and gunshot wounds to the head," Scherer said.

"As all these patients are coming in, are you, in your head wondering what has happened?" Mason asked.

"None of us really truly knew what happened. We didn't know how many people were shot, we didnt know how many assailants and things like that," Scherer said.

They didn't have time to ask those questions.

Nurse describes scene at hospital after shooting 01:18

"Did you have places to put everybody?" Mason asked.

"For all of a sudden to have an influx of 200 patients when you are already busy was a challenge and I think the most important thing that I felt and saw that night was a calmness throughout the chaos," Sondereker said. "We knew we just had to remain calm, take care of the patients, triage and keep going."

"At some point it came to be about space. At some point it became... just space. If there was a hallway space, a patient went there. If there was an empty chair, a patient went there," she said.

"I'm sure you've seen a lot in a hospital. What surprised you, good or bad, about what you saw?" Mason asked.

"No matter how many patients we had, we had 214 patients that night, and the communication you would think would be broken but the communication was so impressive," Scherer said.

People in Las Vegas offer the gift of life 00:58

"One thing that surprised me is, seeing these people who were shot and things and families is how well they handled it," Katz said. "And that to me is amazing."

"The patients actually said, 'he is hurt more than I am. I am going to back go back here and let him have my bed,'" Sondereker said. "The capacity of them to be generous and understanding was amazing and they would say 'take care of him first, I'm good.'"

"You see this from a complete different side than most people. What do you take away from this?" Mason asked.

"How horrific this was and the evil that is out there. And number two the sense of humanity that was shared with our community, with the caregivers that came in to help. And last night when I got home I had tears. I had tears of joy, of pride of our team and our community, and tears of sadness," Scherer said.

The sadness is for the 15 patients at Sunrise who did not make it.

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