Some hurt in Vegas massacre didn't realise they'd been shot

2017-10-05 11:04
Sean Bolger is comforted by a friend during a vigil at City Hall in Las Vegas. (Gregory Bull, AP)

Sean Bolger is comforted by a friend during a vigil at City Hall in Las Vegas. (Gregory Bull, AP)

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Las Vegas - Some of the people injured in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history didn't initially realise they had been shot, a hospital official said.

"We have got calls from people at home, to ask if they can have bullets removed," said Dr Sean Dort, a trauma surgeon and the trauma centre medical director at the Dignity Health-St Rose Dominican Hospital's Siena campus.

"There are people who are shot and don't know at first. If it's not a very high-speed velocity, it doesn't hurt."

Fifty-nine people were killed and more than 500 were injured on Sunday night in a shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

Police say Stephen Paddock perched himself on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino hotel and opened fire for at least nine minutes on the crowd of 22 000 people attending an outdoor country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip.

The injured ended up in 13 hospitals scattered across southern Nevada. Most have been treated and released.

The most seriously wounded were being treated at trauma centres, with about 50 people still in critical condition on Wednesday.

Some knew they were hurt, but rushed home anyway out of sheer terror, just to be somewhere safe.

Dort, citing privacy reasons, couldn't say how many people came to the hospital after initially being unaware they were shot. But he said the hospital even received patients who had first gone to see their family doctors for something like a graze wound on their foot.

"These are very minor," Dort said.

The doctor said the process of treating a bullet wound, regardless of how minor or extensive the damage, is mostly predicated on where it lands on the body.

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