Sen. Frist Uses Medical Training After Shooting
He helps two of the victims
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, July 24) -- In an odd twist to Friday's mayhem at the Capitol, Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) was able to use his medical training to help several of the victims.
Frist, who was a heart surgeon before he became a senator, assisted two of the shooting victims, and reportedly gave the suspect cardiopulminory respiration (CPR) and rode in the ambulance with him as he was taken to D.C. General Hospital.
Frist said he was in his office, after just finishing presiding on the Senate floor when the shooting occurred.
"Within a minute I saw on the television that we had an emergency," Frist said. "I proceeded directly to the Capitol and went to the first floor. Things were under control, the medical personnel had arrived [and were] doing a superb job."
When he arrived at the first level, Frist said the victims had been moved and the medical personnel were already at work providing assistance. As he entered the room, the first victim was being removed to an ambulance; Frist assisted the medical personnel with the eveacuation, monitoring the victim's pulse.
When he returned, he assisted in resuscitating a second victim, who appears to have been the suspect, and rode with him to the hospital providing aid.
Frist declined to confirm that the second injured person was the suspect, or to give any other details about the victims.
"I was really focused on just keeping their heart and lungs going," Frist said. He said that as a surgeon, he felt that should respect the attending medical officers and leave any more statements about the patients and their conditions to them.
He did, however, confirm that the second victim was still alive.
Frist was a medical professional for 20 years before switching to politics, working as heart and lung transplant surgeon during a portion of that time. Among other things, he performed the first heart transplant in Tennessee.