Fil-Am doctor honored for saving lives in Vegas shooting

Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Nov 11 2017 05:33 PM

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From print media to international, local, and national television stations, Filipino-American Dr. Kevin Menes is being lauded for his emergency room skills, put to the test during the night of the deadly Oct. 1 Las Vegas shooting. 

Now, Dr. Menes is one of the most celebrated doctors in Las Vegas for leading a hospital's response to the horrific mass shooting at the Route 91 country music festival, where 58 people lost their lives and hundreds were injured. 

“Our team together did a miracle, and I’m proud of what we did. As a group, we came together and saved the biggest number of gunshot victims that was ever dropped to an emergency department at one time,” he said.

When Menes first heard of the mass casualty incident over radio scanners that night, he immediately devised a plan to handle the possible rush of the wounded. 

Menes developed a plan for how the patients were to be distributed to four color-coded emergency room zones according to the severity of their condition.

Under the triage system, those in critical condition were tagged red and orange. Those critical yet stable upon arrival were tagged yellow, while green tags were given to those who didn't need immediate attention. 

“We had 200 plus patients come into the ER in under an hour. But that night, we broke a lot of rules. We did things that you shouldn’t do but I thought were the best thing in order to save [as] many lives [as] possible,” he said. 

He added that hospital staff took a lot of red tag patients and, because of their best efforts, saved many of them.

“I wish we didn’t have the 16 deaths that we have, but unfortunately, 10 of them, when taking them out of the cars, I knew that they were already dead. One of them had died in the operating room and some had injuries that we could not save,” he said. 

In the wake of the shooting, first responders are likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But for Dr. Menes, he said PTSD only occurs if you have regrets. 

“I don’t have any regrets. None at all. And my team, they don’t have regrets too. I don’t have any nightmares because the number of patients we saved that night is unheard of,” he said. 

Dr. Menes, along with fellow Filipino-American Dr. Patrick Flores, was honored by the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles because of their extraordinary skills in the wake of the worst mass shooting in modern US history. 

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