Copyright ©2011 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And we're going to hear now from a young man whose quick instincts may have saved Congresswoman Gifford's life. Daniel Hernandez is a junior at the University of Arizona with what he describes as limited training in first aid and triage. Saturday was his fifth day as an intern in Congresswoman Gifford's district office.

Mr. DANIEL HERNANDEZ (Intern, Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford): I came in at about 9:15. I was assigned to help staff this event as an intern. I helped set up. At about 10 AM the event started. A few minutes later we heard gunshots. I then ran toward the congresswoman and those who I assumed would likely be injured. So the first thing I started to do was to try and check for pulses, as well as to see who was still breathing.

When I realized that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords had been hit she became my top priority when I saw the severity of her wounds, because she had not only been hit with a bullet, but she had also been hit in the head. I didn't notice any other injuries, but I did notice that the positioning which she was in was one where there was some danger of possible asphyxiation from the blood loss.

So the first thing I did was to pick her up and prop her up against my chest to make sure that she could breathe properly. Once I was sure that she was able to breathe properly and wouldn't asphyxiate, the next thing I did was to apply pressure to her wounds to make sure that we could stem the blood loss.

INSKEEP: He did. She survived. Intern Daniel Hernandez describing his role in helping to save the life of Congresswoman Gifford.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.