‘It’s nauseating:’ Officials at Froedtert, Versiti Blood Center see impact of gun violence daily

WAUWATOSA -- After three mass shootings in a week (in Gilroy, California July 28, El Paso, Texas Aug. 3, and Dayton, Ohio Aug. 4), doctors, officials with blood banks, and Governor Tony Evers were among those with strong words in the wake of the tragedies. Thirty-four people lost their lives between the three mass shootings.

Moments before FOX6's interview at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Monday, Aug. 5, a gunshot victim was rushed to the hospital. Gun violence is something doctors at the hospital see on a daily basis, and staff trains regularly for mass casualty incidents. Blood centers are also constantly on notice.

After an emergency appeal for blood donations at the end of July, things were back on track Monday at Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin, during what's typically the slowest month of the year.

Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin

Dr. Jerry Gottschall

Dr. Jerry Gottschall

Dr. Jerry Gottschall said as he watched reports of shootings in El Paso, Texas Saturday, Aug. 3 and Dayton, Ohio Sunday, Aug. 4, his heart sank.

"These could occur anywhere," said Dr. Gottschall. "Such disasters could occur anywhere. I grew up in Dayton, Ohio. I have been to the Oregon District."

Dr. Gottschall knows better than most how critical blood donations are in the event of a mass shooting.

"One patient who is seriously injured could use five, 10, 50, even 100 units of blood products," said Dr. Gottschall. "That's just for one patient."

O-negative and O-positive donations are used in trauma situations.

Sikh Temple shooting victims

On Monday, the seven-year anniversary of the shooting that killed six at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, Dr. Gottschall said it's best to be prepared. Donations are needed before these tragedies occur, and the 2012 shooting in Oak Creek proved it can happen anywhere.

Dr. Marc de Moya

Dr. Marc de Moya

"It's needed every day -- 500 or 600 units every day," said Dr. Gottschall. "In these kinds of events, it's even more needed."

As donors rolled up their sleeves, Governor Tony Evers also called for change Monday.

"Universal background checks, expanding that to cover every sale of a weapon, is something that the majority of people of Wisconsin believe in," said Gov. Evers. "So let's make it happen!"

At Froedtert Hospital, Dr. Marc de Moya, chief of trauma surgery, said he sees gunshot victims on a daily basis.

"It's just nauseating, to tell you the truth, and frustrating that this pattern continues, and people continue to politicize it -- make it one thing versus another," said Dr. de Moya. "It really shouldn't be that way."

El Paso, Texas mass shooting (Getty Images)

El Paso, Texas mass shooting

Dayton mass shooting (Getty Images)

Dayton, Ohio mass shooting

Gilroy, California mass shooting

With strong opinions about firearms, Dr. de Moya acknowledged the answers don't come easy.

"I don't know what the solution is, quite frankly, because it is such a complex issue," said Dr. de Moya. "There needs to be a multiple prong approach to it."

Versiti officials said Monday they had not been asked to send blood donations to cities like El Paso or Dayton, but indicated that call could come at any time.

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