Trauma Staff In Hospital Overworked As Gunshot Victim Numbers Spike

Written by Wes Walker on May 5, 2021

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Last summer, Los Angelas voted to ‘defund’ their police department by cutting $150 Million out of their budget. People are scratching their heads over why violent crime might have spiked.

Correlation may not equal causation, but it sure is worth asking the question if there might be some sort of a lesson to be learned here.

A reporter caught up with the Chief of the Trauma Division at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Dr. Brant Putnam, and asked how things have been this year, compared to last year.

Gunshot wounds have ‘definitely seen a serious uptick in this quarter’.

What does a ‘serious uptick’ look like? The article goes on to tell us.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, homicides are up 25.8% in 2021 compared to 2020. From January 1 to May 3 of 2021, there have been 117 homicides compared to 93 during the same time period in 2020. However, the number of shooting victim cases is up 70.1%. From January 1 to May 2 of 2021, there were 478 shooting victim cases compared to 281 during the same time period in 2020.

Remember when the drain on hospital resources from COVID was supposed to be a grave concern? Where is the similar concern about the enormous drain on hospital resources of this unchecked violence on our streets?

“In my 20 plus years, this is probably the busiest I’ve seen in terms of gunshot wound victims in particular. One of the things that have struck us is the number of violent type injuries, what we call penetrating trauma, and particularly from gunshot wounds. It is up dramatically from that first quarter. For us that means things are quite a bit busier,” said Putnam.

Harbor-UCLA is a level 1 trauma center in Torrance. According to statistics, the hospital has seen a nearly 87% increase in gunshot wound patients with 142 patients so far in 2021 compared to 76 during the same time period in 2020.

“Every time the paramedics are bringing a gunshot wound victim to us, that’s sort of an all hands on deck situation where it’s our highest level of activation. We make sure that all the important members of the team are there, everything from our surgeons to our emergency medicine physicians, all of our nursing staff, respiratory therapists, the anesthesiologists. It’s a tremendous use of resources when we have a gunshot wound victim come in and unfortunately, it’s become all too regular for us,” said Putnam. — FoxLA

How much of this can be traced back to the unintended consequences of public policy so hellbent on appeasing the demands of the (literal) mob that they don’t stop think about what the second-order effects of those changes might be?

Maybe we should pump the breaks next time, before giving an angry crowd what they claim to want.

After all, decisions driven by emotion are generally the ones we regret the most.

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