On Thursday night in South Florida, a rapper named French Montana was shooting a video at a popular Miami soul food restaurant called The Chatting. Dr. Arthur Berg was not far away, exercising in his health club.

There was a dispute between two groups in the crowd outside the restaurant. someone pulled the trigger; 10 people got hit. A few minutes later, while Berg was running on the treadmill, his phone rang.

Around 8:30 a.m. Berg, who grew up in Oak Brook, had already worked a full day, starting at 10 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., removing two gallbladders and performing an appendectomy. But he left the gym and went to his central Miami hospital — he asked me not to specify — responding to an all-hands deck signal for what he calls a “mass casualty incident.”

“Unfortunately, it’s not a very uncommon thing here,” said Berg, who did a fellowship in trauma and surgical critical care. “I don’t know what it’s like in Chicago. But here in Miami, gun restrictions are very few, and we see our fair share of very horrific injuries. We’re talking about massive soft tissue injuries.” We’re talking about broken bones. We’re talking about damaged organs.

While legislators debate how to define an “assault rifle” — a ban on such weapons passed the Illinois House on Friday and heads to the state Senate this week, where it is expected to pass — Berg has found it difficult to overcome the distinction. No problem doing it. He immediately knows what kind of gunshot wounds he has fought to heal.

“With a handcuff you see a little hole in and out,” he said. “When you get shot with something like an assault rifle, these high-caliber rifles cause really devastating injuries.”

Bullet holes and shattered glass are visible on a car being towed from “The Licking” restaurant in Miami Gardens, where 10 people were injured Thursday night during a video shoot for rappers French Montana and Rob49.

Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

He had the instincts of a surgeon to refer his patient by their problem, such as his last patient when he arrived at the hospital on a Thursday night.

“I ended up with a damaged upper extremity,” Berg said. He traced the path of the bullet. “It went into her left elbow, left inner arm, armpit, her chest and came out her nipple.

just one shot?

“Hard to say,” Berg said. “It looked like the path of a bullet.”

No matter how many bullets, the man’s body was left with three large holes – although Berg did not use that word. “We call it ‘aperture,'” he explained. “We don’t talk about entry and exit. We don’t know. We’re not forensic doctors.”

He measured the potholes. The largest was 4-by-5-in.

Large coaster shaped hole.

“His entire bicep was severed from his arm,” Berg said. “Her humerus — her arm bone — was shattered to the point I was picking up pieces of bone in the soft tissue.”

Will the man lose his hand?

“It’s too early to tell,” Berg said. “If there’s irreversible vascular injury, or if it’s essentially so much soft tissue damage that there is functional loss of the hand, he can lose it. Stitch what you can.

Dr. Arthur Berg is a trauma surgeon in Miami and is completing his medical training.

Dr. Arthur Berg is a trauma surgeon in Miami and is completing his medical training.

Berg was one of dozens of Miami medical personnel called out Thursday night. That’s what they train for, why residents work 24 shifts, practicing being pulled into complex surgeries late at night.

“Preparation is everything,” Berg said. “The team is everything. It’s about surrounding the right people. You need nurses. You need technology. Even secretaries can be as important as physicians. Someone rolls, they Registration is required.

He’s not kidding. Even as doctors rushed to stop the bleeding, Berg’s patient was given a bracelet identifying him as “unknown” and then a word from the Alpha-Bravo-Charlie NATO phonetic alphabet.

“In most places, you’re an unknown, John Doe, you’ve just been given some name to register with the system,” Berg said. “So that blood can be given. If you don’t, the system locks you out.

Properly registered, the patient was issued an intubation tube, a chest tube to drain blood from his lungs, a central line. He already had a tourniquet on from the ambulance, but it was loose. So Berg swung the stick about 10 times.

“You keep going until the bleeding stops,” he explained. This is what drew him to this specialty of medicine.

“I’ve always loved it,” said Berg, 33. While attending Loyola University in Chicago, he worked as an EMT. “S— I saw in Chicago that which always lived with me and haunted me. I chose to go into trauma.

However moments like Thursday are more than he bargained for.

“It was very intense,” he said – but not unprecedented. The ER, Berg said, routinely becomes “like a war zone.”

Thanks to skilled medical personnel like Berg, none of the 10 patients who were shot Thursday in Miami died, which is why the incident barely made national news, eclipsed the next day by a 6-year-old who attended school in Virginia. I had brought a gun and shot his teacher.

I pointed to the vast amount of research and knowledge that goes into treating gunshot wounds as opposed to random, shameful efforts to prevent gun violence.

“There is very little money that goes into gun violence prevention research,” he agreed. “In the ’90s, there were too many motor vehicle accidents, they did a lot of research to prevent motor vehicle deaths. They don’t do anything like this for gun violence. There needs to be more funding for research. We do this Don’t even know which laws work and which don’t. States are all over the place. People don’t study it because there’s no funding.”

Dried blood on the sidewalk at the entrance to The Licking at Miami Gardens on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023.  The night before, 10 people were shot outside the restaurant.

Dried blood on the sidewalk at the entrance to The Licking at Miami Gardens on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. The night before, 10 people were shot outside the restaurant.



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