Las Vegas hospital 'like a war zone' as shooting victims flood facility

LAS VEGAS, Oct 2 (Reuters) - When Dr. Jay Coates pulled up to work at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada on Sunday night, the surrounding streets already were cordoned off and ambulances filled with shooting victims lined the driveway.

Inside the trauma center, staff worked to evaluate and treat dozens of patients with high-velocity bullet wounds - victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

"It was like a war zone," said Coates, one of two senior surgeons who worked Sunday night duty as the city's emergency personnel struggled to keep up with the flood of victims. "We were just trying to keep people from dying."

The fusillade of bullets fired by a lone gunman from the Mandalay Bay hotel into a crowd of 22,000 at a country music festival killed at least 59 people and sent more than 500 to area hospitals, severely straining the city's emergency response system and putting the hospitals into overdrive.

40 PHOTOS
Route 91 Harvest country music festival shooting in Las Vegas
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Route 91 Harvest country music festival shooting in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: A cowboy hat lays in the street after shots were fired near a country music festival on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman has opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, leaving at least 20 people dead and more than 100 injured. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: ( A person lies on the ground covered with blood at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01 People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01:  A person lies on the ground at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: People dive for cover at Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: People tend to the wounded outside the festival ground after an apparent shooting on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was hear on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman has opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, leaving at least 20 people dead and more than 100 injured. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: People take cover at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: A person runs from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman has opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, leaving at least 20 people dead and more than 100 injured. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: A man in a wheelchair is taken away from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officers run down Tropicana Ave. near Las Vegas Boulevard after a mass shooting at a country music festival nearby on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman has opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, killing over 20 people. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot dead. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: A man lays on top of a woman as others flee the Route 91 Harvest country music festival grounds after a active shooter was reported on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman has opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, leaving at least 2 people dead. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: People hug and cry outside the Thomas & Mack Center after a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman, identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the music festival, leaving at least 50 people dead and hundreds injured. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: UNLV student Ajay Narang (L) and a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer use Narang's skateboard to help deliver bottled water to people at the Thomas & Mack Center after a mass shooting at a country music festival on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. People who could not go to hotel-casinos that were closed after the shooting are temporarily staying at the center. A gunman, identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the music festival, leaving at least 50 people dead and hundreds injured. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer helps deliver blankets and food to people at the Thomas & Mack Center after a mass shooting at a country music festival on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. People who could not go to hotel-casinos that were closed after the shooting are temporarily staying at the center. A gunman, identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the music festival, leaving at least 50 people dead and hundreds injured. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: People are directed to rides outside the Thomas & Mack Center after a mass shooting at a country music festival on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. People who could not go to hotel-casinos that were closed after the shooting are temporarily staying at the center. The gunman, identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the music festival, leaving at least 50 people dead and hundreds injured. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: Concert-goers wait for a ride outside the Thomas & Mack Center after a mass shooting at a country music festival on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. People who could not go to hotel-casinos that were closed after the shooting temporarily stayed at the center. The gunman, identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the music festival, leaving at least 50 people dead and hundreds injured. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer helps deliver bottled water to people at the Thomas & Mack Center after a mass shooting at a country music festival on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. People who could not go to hotel-casinos that were closed after the shooting are temporarily staying at the center and residents are donating supplies. The gunman, identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the music festival, leaving at least 50 people dead and hundreds injured. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: Concert-goers wait for a ride outside the Thomas & Mack Center after a mass shooting at a country music festival on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. People who could not go to hotel-casinos that were closed after the shooting temporarily stayed at the center. The gunman, identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the music festival, leaving at least 50 people dead and hundreds injured. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer helps deliver bottled water to people at the Thomas & Mack Center after a mass shooting at a country music festival on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. People who could not go to hotel-casinos that were closed after the shooting are temporarily staying at the center and residents are donating supplies. The gunman, identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the music festival, leaving at least 50 people dead and hundreds injured. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
A pair of cowboy boots is shown in the street outside the concert venue after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 1, 2017. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: Police officers stop a man who drove down Tropicana Ave. near Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Ave, which had been closed after a mass shooting at a country music festival that left at least 2 people dead nearby on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The man was released. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Metro Police officers pass by the front of the Tropicana hotel-casino after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 1, 2017. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer stands in the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Ave. after a mass shooting at a country music festival nearby on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman has opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, killing over 20 people. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot dead. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Las Vegas Metro Police officers work near the concert venue after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 1, 2017. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus
A body is covered with a sheet in the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 1, 2017. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus
Las Vegas Metro Police and medical workers stage in the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 1, 2017. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
An ambulance leaves the concert venue after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 1, 2017. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus
An ambulance heads to a hospital after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 1, 2017. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus
Medical workers stage in the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. early October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus
Las Vegas Metro Police officers gather near the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. early October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus
Las Vegas Metro Police officers confer near a staging area in the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. early October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus
Las Vegas Metro Police and medical workers stage in the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 1, 2017. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus
Las Vegas Metro Police officer stands by at a staging area in the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. early October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus
Las Vegas Metro Police and medical workers stage in the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 1, 2017. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus
 Police form a perimeter around the road leading to the Mandalay Hotel (background) after a gunman killed at least 50 people and wounded more than 200 others when he opened fire on a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 2, 2017. Police said the gunman, a 64-year-old local resident named as Stephen Paddock, had been killed after a SWAT team responded to reports of multiple gunfire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, a hotel-casino next to the concert venue. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Metro Police officers speak with a man near the concert site on October 2, 2017, after a mass shooting during a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus
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At University Medical Center, the state's only level-one trauma center - which means it is staffed around the clock with surgeons and trauma nurses and personnel - virtually every available employee hustled back to work to be confronted with unimaginable carnage.

Toni Mullan, a clinical nursing supervisor for the trauma unit, had just gotten home after a 12-hour shift when she was called back. She drove at 110 mph and stopped at no traffic lights to get back to the center.

"Chaos, that’s what I saw," she said of her arrival.

Coates said that by the time he reached the center there were already more than 70 medical staff at work, and eight or nine surgeons helped evaluate patients to determine who was most in need of surgery.

The most critically wounded sometimes had up to 20 people around their bed working on them.

"It was a trauma bay full of at least 70 people and patients stacked everywhere. It was controlled chaos," Coates said.

"At one time we had eight operating rooms going at the same time."

The trauma center had received 104 patients by early afternoon, most suffering gunshot wounds. Four died, 40 were released, 12 were in critical condition and eight were in surgery, spokeswoman Danita Cohen said.

“It was all hands on deck. Word traveled very fast. People were very proud to come in," she said.

Last year, the trauma center had a training drill in which staff practiced receiving patients after a fictional mass shooting at a concert. "This is what we do, we were prepared for this," Mullan said.

Across town, the scene at Sunrise Hospital was similar.

"I have never seen a scene like the one I just saw this morning," U.S. Representative Ruben Kihuen of Nevada, whose district includes parts of the Las Vegas area, told NPR after visiting Sunrise.

"There were about 190 people taking up every single bed possible, every single room possible, every single hallway possible," Kihuen said. "Every single nurse, every single doctor from all over the city came and are assisting a lot of these victims."

54 PHOTOS
Victims of the Las Vegas shooting
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Victims of the Las Vegas shooting
Chris Roybal of Southern California, was a Navy veteran who served in Afghanistan, ABC News said. He was 28.

(Photo via GoFundMe)

Sonny Melton (pictured right) is seen with his wife Heather, who survived the shooting.

(Photo via Heather Gulish Melton)

Quinton Robbins, 20, is described by his aunt as "the most kind and loving soul."

(Photo via Kilee Wells Sanders/Facebook)

Jordan McIldoon (left), 23, of British Columbia, was confirmed dead by his parents as well as fellow concert-goer Heather Gooze, who said McIldoon died in her arms. 

(Photo via Facebook)

Victim of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Jordan McIldoon, is seen in this undated social media photo obtained by Reuters October 3, 2017. Social media/Handout via REUTERS

Jassica Klymchuk, a single mother of 4, was visiting Las Vegas from Alberta with her fiancé. 

(Photo via Facebook)

Lisa Romero worked as a secretary at her local high school in Gallup, New Mexico. 

(Photo via Facebook)

Denise Burditus, of West Virginia, was attending the concert with her husband, and died in his arms. 

(Photo via Facebook)

Rachael Parker was a records technician for the Manhattan Beach Police Department in California, she was 33. 

(Photo via Twitter)
Susan Smith worked for the Simi Valley Unified School District in California.

(Photo via Facebook)

Adrian Murfitt was a commercial fisherman in Anchorage, Alaska, the Alaska Dispatch News reported. He was 35.

(Social media/Handout via REUTERS)

John Phippen of Santa Clarita, California, was a father of five, grandfather of one and owned a remodeling and repair company. 

(Photo via GoFundMe)

Angie Gomez was a 2015 graduate of Riverside Polytechnic High School in California.

(Photo via GoFundMe)

Victim of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Angie Gomez, is seen in this undated social media photo obtained by Reuters October 3, 2017. Social media/Handout via REUTERS

Dana Gardner (pictured left) was attending the concert with her daughter, according to a GoFundMe page set up in her memory.

(Photo via GoFundMe)

Rhonda LeRocque attended the concert with her husband, and their 7-year-old daughter, who were not injured, according to the Boston Globe.

(Photo via Facebook)
Jenny Parks was a wife, mother to two young children and a teacher, according to a GoFundMe account set up in her memory.

(Photo via Facebook)
Nesya Tonks was the mother of three boys, according to a GoFundMe set up by her employeer, Technologent.

(Photo via GoFundMe)

Hannah Ahlers is survived by her husband and three children.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Carrie Barnette, 34, was in Las Vegas for a friends 30th birthday party.

Photo Credit: Nicole Johnson

Sandy Casey had taught special education for 9 years at the Manhattan Beach Unified School District. 

Photo Credit: Manhattan Beach Unified School District

Victim of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Sandy Casey, is seen in this undated social media photo

(Social media/Handout via REUTERS)

Thomas Day Jr. is survived by his four children who attended the Route 91 Harvest Festival with him. 

Photo Credit: Thomas Day Jr./Facebook

Charleston Hartfield, 34, was an off-duty Las Vegas police officer, youth football coach, and military veteran. Our… https://t.co/UafOdLrcFz

Bailey Schweitzer was only 20 years old and had just started working at Infinity Communications and consulting as a receptionist 7 months ago. 

Photo Credit: Infinity Communications and Consulting

Victim of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Bailey Schweitzer, is seen in this undated social media photo obtained by Reuters October 3, 2017. Social media/Handout via REUTERS
Victim of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Melissa Ramirez, is seen in this undated social media photo obtained by Reuters October 3, 2017. Social media/Handout via REUTERS
Victim of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Jack Beaton, is seen in this undated social media photo obtained by Reuters October 3, 2017. Social media/Handout via REUTERS
Christiana Duarte had begun working at her first full-time job since graduated college, according to the Los Angeles Times.

(Photo via Facebook)
Stacee Etcheber was a mother and wife to a San Francisco Police Dept. officer.

(Photo via Facebook)
Jennifer Topaz Irvine was a family law attorney based in San Diego, according to CBS News.

(Photo via Facebook
A fourth Kern County resident has passed away: Family of 27 y.o. Kelsey Meadows, confirm that she is the fourth Ker… https://t.co/DdzsCXbBh5
Calla Medig was described as a kind-hearted young woman with a beaming smile, according to CBC News in Canada.

(Photo via Facebook)
Cameron Robinson (pictured right) was an amazing friend, son, brother, uncle, cousin, coworker and boyfriend known for his love of cooking and dancing, according to a fundraising page set up in his memory.

(Photo via GoFundMe)
Family tells me Kurt Von Tillow from Cameron Park was killed in #LasVegasShooting. Say he ❤️ his country. Always wo… https://t.co/w7Ndiq5YlO

Bill Wolfe Jr. was a loving husband and a wrestling coach in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.


(Photo via GoFundMe)

A fundraising account set up for Dorene Anderson (pictured top left) described her as a loving wife, mother, sister, aunt and friend.

(Phot via GoFundMe)

Steve Berger was celebrating his 44th birthday with a group of friends, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

(Photo via EFS Advisors)

Tara Roe Smith was the mother of two young sons, according to the Canadian Press. She was reportedly separated from her husband, Zach, during the shooting.  

(Photo via GoFundMe)
Erick Silva has been identified as one of the victims in the #LasVegasShooting https://t.co/uv3taTQCqU

Brennan Stewart had a love for music and his family requested that the funds raised from a GoFundMe account set up in his honor be used for a local youth organization that is centered around the arts.

(Photo via GoFundMe)

Michelle Vo was attending her first country music concert, according to the San Jose Mercury News.


(Photo via Facebook)

Heather Alvarado loved to travel with her three children and her husband, according to a statement released by the Cedar City Police Department to local media.

(Photo via GoFundMe)

Denise Cohen was a mother of two who was attending the concert with her boyfriend.

(Social media/Handout via REUTERS)

Victim of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Jordyn Rivera, is seen in this undated social media photo.

(Social media/Handout via REUTERS)

Candice Bowers was a single mother of three and is described her as a superhero who loved country music; she was ki… https://t.co/9qh6ARaN2I
Andrea Castilla was celebrating her 28th birthday with her sister, boyfriend and her sister's fiancee, according to a GoFundMe page set up by her family.

(Photo via Facebook)
Austin Davis was considered a friend to all, according to a fundraising site set up in his memory. He was 29.

(Photo via GoFundMe)
Chris Hazencomb saved his friend's life by shielding her, the Ventura County Star reported. He was 44.

(Photo via GoFundMe)
Victor Link, 52, “I could type for hours saying how great of a man you were and how everyone loves you so so much.”… https://t.co/qu3fOQ3jY7
Lisa Patterson was a loving mother, wife and donated countless hours to her community, according to a GoFundMe account. She was 46.

(Photo via GoFundMe)
Rocio Guillen Rocha was still on maternity leave after giving birth to her fourth child six weeks ago, NPR reported. She was 40.

(Photo via GoFundMe)
Derrick "Bo" Taylor served the Ventura Conservation Camp for decades according to statement by the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation. He was 56.

(Photo via Facebook)
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Friends and relatives searched frantically for news on the injured, but the sheer volume of patients slowed the process. At Sunrise, Kihuen said, more than 90 of the 190 patients had no identification.

Las Vegas police urged family members not to flood local hospitals in search of the missing, and telephone hotlines were set up to help locate missing loved ones.

Police asked those wanting to donate blood to not go to the hospitals, because the staffs were overwhelmed with patients, and referred them to several area clinics.

Paul Hwangpo, a Las Vegas Uber driver, said he had spent the day ferrying tourists and residents to the clinics to give blood. One had a six-hour wait, the other four hours, he said.

Mullan said that emotionally the most difficult moments were when it came time to fill out paperwork for patients she knew only as Jane or John Doe.

"When we have families coming up looking for loved ones and we have Doe's, that’s overwhelming. I’m human. I cry. I’m sad for the loss," she said.

But Mullan said she was proud of the way hospital staff had responded.

"I've been a nurse for 30 years, and on the most tragic moment I've ever been involved in I was most proud to be a nurse," she said.

(Writing by John Whitesides; Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Leslie Adler)

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