Report: Confusion hampered medical response in Uvalde

Few ambulances available, police cars blocking access to medical vehicles and helicopters with crucial blood supplies parked miles away from Robb Elementary School caused delays in medical care for victims of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, according to a published report. on Tuesday.

New documents obtained by The Texas Tribune, ProPublica and The Washington Post about the May 24 massacre __ in which 19 students and two teachers were killed at Robb Elementary School __ show a delay in the medical response to the shooting due to confusion and the blockades in streets and accesses.

The documents take a new angle on the medical delays that day, adding to the scrutiny local, state and federal authorities face over the late response to the massacre, after police officers waited 77 minutes to confront the shooter.

According to news outlets, an unidentified fire department official told helicopters carrying crucial blood supplies to wait at a nearby airport instead of landing at the school. Although helicopters were available, none were used to transport the victims from the school, and the dozens of police vehicles parked on the streets made it difficult for ambulances to reach the victims.

Some police vehicles were locked and unable to move quickly, forcing ambulance operators to frantically search for new routes to reach the school, including through some residents’ gardens.

Although there were two ambulances outside the Texas elementary school while the shooter was still on the premises, they were not enough for the 10 gunshot wound victims who were still alive.

Thirty-three minutes after police waited more than an hour to confront and kill the attacker, an ambulance was still trying to reach the school, according to the Tribune.

Documents show that three of the victims had a pulse at the time they were removed from the school and subsequently passed away, two of whom did not have access to critical resources that would be expected.

Another of the victims survived an hour after being shot, and was placed in an ambulance that eventually made it to the classroom, but died on the way to the hospital. Six other students, including one who was critically injured, were taken to the hospital aboard a school bus and without trained medical personnel, according to Texas EMS records reviewed by news outlets.

Because the autopsy reports have not yet been released, it is unknown if any of the victims could have survived if the response of the emergency services had been different.

However, some experts told the news media that at least one of the victims, teacher Eva Mireles who was shot in the first minutes of the attack, may have survived, as she was conscious when she was found. According to the documents, Mireles received initial care at the scene because an ambulance was not immediately available, and the decision was made not to transport her to the hospital. She later died in an ambulance that never left the school premises.

Another teacher, Elsa Avila, who was in a classroom near Mireles’s, told in September Associated Press who was one of the first people to be shot. Avila was pulled out of a window in her classroom an hour later and survived.

The Texas Rangers, a division of the state Department of Public Safety, are continuing their investigation into the response to the attack. Uvalde County District Attorney Christina Mitchell Busbee, charged with investigating the response to the incident, will review the results and may decide to file criminal charges against the officers who showed up at the school.

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