When midnight rolls around, medics rush in with a new gunshot victim. The medics are directed to transport the victim to the trauma bay, where doctors and nurses will battle for hours to save the victim’s life. One of the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center medical staff cut the man’s clothes, so they can be removed without delay. Trauma surgeon, Dr. Jason D. Pasley is on duty this night and prepares to examine the man’s body for bullet wounds. Most individuals would think that a bullet wound is a large gaping up, but under the contrary they may be as small as a pencil eraser.
The medical team works diligently to determine the stint of the man’s injuries, examining every inch of his body from top to bottom. Dr. Pasley calls off the button wound and location, while a staff member jots them down on a medical form. The man ended up having 6 bullet wounds and then there is the “bullet hole math” to be determined. This is necessary to determine how many bullets entered and exited the body and those that may still be in the body. All exit holes are slightly larger than the entrance hole, so they are easy to differentiate between the two.
Gun crime is on the rise throughout the United States, so the gruesome ritual is becoming more and more common for many emergency rooms. This very week, the Shock Trauma Center had treated one or more gunshot victims seven consecutive nights. Emergency rooms are grasping for a solution to save these victims, but unfortunately, the seriousness of the reported cases is continuing to worsen every day. Victims with gunshot wounds to the head are less likely to survive their injuries, increasing medical expenses and the toll on the victims’ families.
Over $80 million has been spend in Baltimore hospitals alone in the past five years. Within this time frame, the cases have doubled and the medical costs have increased nearly 30%. To assist first responders do their job more effectively, Baltimore law enforcement officials are required to carry tourniquets when on duty. The goal is to provide easy access to defibrillators and educate everyone on the proper procedures for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Baltimore officials are concerned about the fact that criminals are able to get their hands on higher-caliber gums with large magazines. This type of gun is capable of pulverizing tissue and organs, decreasing the survival rating.
As of right now, one person will die out of every three people shot in Baltimore. New York, Washington, and Chicago are also seeing massive increases in gun violence. Federal funding is lacking for gun research along with inconsistent record keeping is only a few of the missing pieces. The issue needs to be addressed on all levels and finding a solution involves constructing courses of action.