New York City hospital sees summer wave of gunshot victims

New York City-based Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center saw nearly 100 more gunshot victims in June, July and August of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, CNN reports.

Dorian Alexander, MD, an emergency physician at the level 2 trauma center, said staff are struggling to handle a crisis other than COVID-19: gun violence. Over the summer, Brookdale treated 149 gunshot victims, compared to 55 last year.

More patients also have multiple gunshot wounds, which ultimately makes them harder to save, the physician said. In July, 81 percent of gunshot patients were in critical condition, according to hospital data.

"Normally you'll get someone who was shot twice. Three times maybe. But we're talking about 20, 30 times," Dr. Alexander said. "Our ability to save that person at that point is almost nonexistent."

As of Aug. 27, there were 974 shooting incidents in New York City, almost double the year before, which had 527. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio and several police officials have cited demonstrations related to George Floyd's murder, recent police reform bills causing officers to pull back, and releases from jail due to COVID-19 and bail reform.

"When you say gun violence, the majority of people are thinking, oh, a TV gangster or something," said Dr. Alexander. "No. Regular folk. Regular people, 30s, 20s, teenagers, preteens, people less than 10 years old. Those are the people that we see."

More articles on patient flow: 
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