Waco (TX)—In the wake of a massive explosion resulting in one of the largest medical disasters the area has seen, the McLennan County Medical Society today praised the efforts of doctors, nurses, hospitals and support staff for their rapid and skilled response, and declared the effort a success. Treating over 150 moderately and severely injured, the county’s healthcare team mobilized without losing a single life in transport or in the hospital.
Dr. Lisa Duchamp, President of the Medical Society, who herself was voluntarily onsite in West the night of the explosion to triage and treat the injured, said, “It was a true honor to assist the people of West who are not only our family and friends, but who are also our patients and coworkers. These are people that we care for deeply, and our prayers are with this community as we continue to stand ready to serve in any way that is needed.”
Doctors and nurses from both Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center/Scott & White Healthcare and Providence Healthcare Network rose to the challenge presented due to this terrible tragedy in a way that far exceeded any expectations, and performed equally as well as some major cities in a similar disaster scenario. Dr. Bradford Holland, MCMS Past-President, who also treated many of the injured, stated, “Our Level II trauma community pulled together and treated patients with the same success rate that Boston, with its Level I trauma centers and multiple hospitals, was able to achieve with similar injury numbers and many more resources.” Most of the injured were treated in Waco, but some required transfer to Parkland’s Burn Unit in Dallas or MacLane Children’s Hospital in Temple.
The Medical Society also praised the efforts of one particular physician, Dr. George Smith, Director of West EMS and a family physician who has practiced in West nearly his whole career. He single-handedly saved many lives by mobilizing the nursing home, which in itself saved over 100 lives, and physically pulled people out of the debris. “Dr. Smith’s immediate action and his evacuation efforts, despite being injured and bloodied himself, make him one of the true stand-out heroes of this tragedy, “ Dr. Duchamp said.