Press briefing remarks by Dr. Jack Sava, Director of Trauma for MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Shared on behalf of the Scalise family, June 16, 2017, 3:15 p.m.

We are aware that many in the nation are concerned about the patients brought to us for care, after the shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday, June 14.  I want to provide some background and an update.

Special Agent Crystal Griner with the United States Capitol Police sustained a gunshot wound to the ankle, and remains hospitalized in good condition.

Congressman Steve Scalise sustained a single wound from a rifle, entering in the area of his left hip.  The bullet traveled straight across toward the other hip, in what we call a transpelvic gunshot wound.  The round fragmented, and caused significant damage to bones, internal organs and blood vessels.  I understand he was awake initially, but due to severe bleeding, by the time he arrived at MedSTAR by helicopter, he was in shock.

My partners, Dr. Tony Shiflett and Dr. Christine Trankiem, as well as other doctors and nurses, saw him in the trauma center, and immediately transported him to the operating room for surgery.   In the OR, he was in critical condition and received many units of blood transfusion for ongoing hemorrhage from multiple locations.  He received truly amazing anesthesia care from Dr. Scott Frank and Dr. Eric Skolnick.  Largely due to their work, we were able to get him through the operation and take him to Interventional Radiology, where Dr. Arshad Khan performed another procedure to further control bleeding.

From there he was taken to intensive care under the care of Dr. Chadi Abouassaly.  Over the course of Wednesday night, we were encouraged to see evidence that we had controlled the bleeding.  Yesterday, (June 15, 2017) Dr. Trankiem and I performed a second operation, and Dr. Rob Golden, our director of orthopaedic trauma, repaired a bone in the leg.

The Congressman remains in critical condition.  Over the last 36 hours, we have been encouraged to see some improvement in his condition.  We have controlled the internal bleeding, and his vital signs have stabilized.

The Congressman will require additional operations to manage abdominal injuries and other broken bones.  He will be in the hospital for some time.  Predicting the length of that hospital stay will be much easier after a few more days have passed.   After discharge he will need a period of healing and rehabilitation.

On behalf of the MedSTAR Trauma team, I’d like to thank the special agents on the scene for their outstanding life-saving response, and I’d like to thank the first responders for the excellent care given to all the people injured.  We are aware here at the Hospital Center of their critical role, and we salute their commitment and dedication.

Bio: Jack Sava, MD, FACS

Jack Sava, MD, FACS, is the director of Trauma at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, a Level I Trauma Center. He also directs the General Surgery Residency Program. He has specialized training in General Surgery, Critical Care and Trauma.

Dr. Sava received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley, and his medical degree from McGill Medical School in Montreal.  His internship was at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, followed by a surgical residency at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and a fellowship in Trauma/Critical Care at LAC+USC Medical Center.

He is a member of numerous surgical associations, has lectured locally and nationally, and has authored many abstracts, journal articles and book chapters in his field.

Other Physicians Mentioned in Statement

Tony Shiflett, DO, Trauma Surgeon

Christine Trankiem, MD, Trauma Surgeon

Chadi Abouassaly, MD, Trauma Surgeon

Scott Frank, MD, Anesthesiologist

Eric Skolnick, MD, Anesthesiologist

Arshad Khan, MD, Vascular Interventional Radiologist

Robert Golden, MD, Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon