UVA Medical Center Continues to Treat Victims of 4th Street Car Attack
The University of Virginia Medical Center is crediting its team with saving lives of some of the most seriously injured people from Saturday's car attack.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The University of Virginia Medical Center is crediting its team with saving lives of some of the most seriously injured people from Saturday's car attack.
The UVA Health System announced Monday, August 14, that nine victims remain in the hospital, and that they are in good condition.
“What we're seeing now is, of course, a lot of people debriefing, decompressing, and starting to kind of understand what just happened to them,” said UVA Health System Chief Medical Officer Dr. Chris Ghaemmaghami.
The UVA Medical Center started planning for the possibility of violence at the Unite the Right rally several weeks in advance. Officials said they were prepared to treat the rally at Emancipation Park on a "natural disaster" scale.
"We activate it for various events, whether it’s an anticipation of natural disaster, or technology outages, or human hazards," said Dr. Tom Berry on Friday before the rally.
“I think everybody was ready and prepared from early Saturday morning throughout the entire weekend,” UVA Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer Mary Dixon said.
A command center was set up across the street from the main hospital building, and additional staff members were on hand at the intensive care unit, as well as in the emergency department.
“Once the rally was over, we tried to take a sigh of relief that things were starting to slow down and then, of course we started to hear about the car that drove into the crowd,” Ghaemmaghami said.
Minutes after the car slammed into protesters on 4th Street Saturday, August 12, teams of doctors and nurses set up a triage in the hospital lobby and rolled stretchers out to the sidewalk to wait for ambulances to arrive with patients.
“It was, we know, horrific outside in the city of Charlottesville, but our team members maintained a calm, maintained focus, maintained professionalism," said Dixon.
“We saw a lot of demand immediately. We were very fortunate we even had the five minutes notice from the scene to our hospital,” Ghaemmaghami said.
The UVA Medical Center treated all 20 people who suffered injuries from the car attack. Thirty-two-year-old Heather Heyer was pronounced dead at the UVA Medical Center, while other victims suffered minor to serious injuries.
Twenty-year-old James Alex Fields, Jr. is charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit-and-run in connection to the 4th Street attack. He is currently being held without bond.
Editor's Note: 15 people were treated at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in relation to the events of August 12. Click here for more information.