Cleveland Clinic confiscated 30K weapons in 2023: What to know

In his Jan. 24 "State of the Clinic" address, Cleveland Clinic's president and CEO mentioned that the system confiscated 30,000 weapons from patients and visitors in 2023. 

Becker's reached out to Cleveland Clinic to learn more about this statistic. Here's what the system told us about its seizure and security efforts since Tomislav Mihaljevic, MD, gave his speech: 

  • Although Cleveland Clinic has locations around the world, that 30,000 figure only represents weapons confiscated at U.S. facilities. Magnetometers have been installed in each of the system's emergency departments nationwide.

  • Any object that could be used as a weapon is confiscated when spotted by a magnetometer, according to the system. That includes household items like tools, scissors and pocket knives — the most commonly-confiscated object, which many people carry daily.

  • The system has found that most patients and visitors are "understanding" when objects are confiscated, and appreciate their efforts to maintain a safe environment. Objects that are not considered criminal can be returned upon their owner's exit.

  • Although Cleveland Clinic could not provide hard data regarding confiscation trends ("given [its] growth and the addition of new facilities as well as more comprehensive reporting"), a spokesperson shared that the number of confiscations has continued to increase year over year. 

  • The system has noticed an increase in firearm seizures, though not a significant one, and attributes this to increased tracking measures across its enterprise.

  • Most of the time, people do not bring weapons to the hospital with ill intent.

    "Many times, people come to the hospital during or right after an emergency and may have items on their person already — meaning they were likely not intending on bringing these items into the hospital," a spokesperson for the health system told Becker's

Read more about rising violence in healthcare settings — and efforts to combat it — here

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