Doctors: 6 children in critical condition after Waukesha Christmas Parade crash

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 11:52 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2021 at 6:30 PM CST
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WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) - At least six children injured when an SUV plowed through a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee are listed in critical condition.

Doctors say 18 patients between the ages of 3 and 16 were taken Children’s Wisconsin Hospital. They include three sets of siblings, which “uniquely and truly demonstrates the devastating effects of this on our community,” Dr. Michael Meyer, medical director of the critical care unit, said.

Ten children are in pediatric intensive care unit -- the 6 in critical condition, 3 in serious, and 1 in fair. Eight other patients in fair condition were not in the PICU but in other units in the hospital, and two of them have been discharged.

Those injured suffered serious head injuries, broken bones and scrapes on their faces, with six people operated on Sunday night and two more in surgery on Monday.

The hospital was notified about the possible mass casualty event and the first child was admitted at 5:30. The emergency department began winding down its heightened response around 9:30, but the hospital received some patients later who’d been admitted to other hospitals in Waukesha and Menomonee Falls then transferred to Children’s. Doctors praised the EMS providers for “phenomenal” care the children received before arriving at the hospital.

Children’s activated its mental health support system for the young patients, their families, and hospital staff. The support includes social workers and child life specialists.

“The words of encouragement on social media, the offers to donate blood, offers to offer food to our staff who are working diligently and tirelessly to provide exceptional care to patients, is genuinely appreciated. This is a community tragedy, and we will respond as a community. So we’d like to thank all of you for that support,” Dr. Michael Gutzeit, chief medical officer, said.

Waukesha police say that all told, at least five people were killed and more than 40 hurt in the tragedy Sunday. One person has been taken into custody, and a law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity tells The Associated Press that investigators are looking into whether the driver was fleeing a crime involving a knife at the time.

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