New Zealand is mourning the loss of the 50 victims of the shootings at two Christchurch mosques on Friday 15 March. While most of us could only watch in horror as the terrifying event unfolded, surgeons and many others at Christchurch Hospital worked tirelessly throughout the weekend to save the lives of the shooter's victims.
Twelve operating theatres were active and the massive amount of emergency work completed was unprecedented, especially with penetrating trauma which we have not seen before in New Zealand.
On behalf of the RACS NZ Trauma Committee, I want to pay tribute and acknowledge the excellent work of the surgeons, their teams and the many others involved at Christchurch Hospital. All surgical specialties including general surgery, vascular, cardiothoracic and orthopaedic teams worked relentlessly on the day and beyond to save the critically injured. Their expertise, surgical skills and professionalism have made the College very proud.
I'd like to specifically acknowledge Mr Greg Robertson FRACS, Chief of Surgery for his leadership, Mr Chris Wakeman FRACS, Trauma Committee member and Mr James McKay FRACS for co-ordinating and triaging the critically injured.
This tragic event highlights the importance of continual trauma education and training.
Mr Li Hsee FRACS
Chair, NZ Trauma Committee