Despite the constant media spotlight on mass shootings, it’s true that gun deaths have decreased in the U.S., tracking the decrease in violent crime.
But what’s really happening is that trauma surgeons have gotten really good at taking care of GSWs.
Fatal GSWs have decreased from a peak of 7 homicides per 100,000 people in 1993 to 3.6 homicides per 100,000 people in 2013. Non-fatal gunshot wounds decreased by 63% from 725.3 non-fatal violent firearm crime victimizations per 100,000 people to about 174.8 non-fatal violent firearm crime victimizations per 100,000 in 2014. But the bulk of the decrease was between 1993 and 2000.
Gun Deaths Have Plummeted in the U.S.—But That Doesn’t Mean There’s Less Gun Violence • 2015 Dec 7 • Olivia Becker • Vice News
What will be really interesting to see what happens when the next generation of surgeons in this era of low reimbursements won’t want to work the same number of crazy hours covering Level I Trauma Centers. #KnifeAndGunClubs
…people are now surviving from many of the more dangerous wounds that would have killed them in previous years.
Trauma surgery: discipline in crisis. • 2009 Feb • Green, SM • Ann Emerg Med • PubMed
Throughout the past quarter century, there have been slow but dramatic changes in the nature and practice of trauma surgery, and this field increasingly faces potent economic, logistic, political, and workforce challenges. Patients and emergency physicians have much to lose by this budding crisis in our partner discipline. This article reviews the specific issues confronting trauma surgery, their historical context, and the potential directions available to this discipline. Implications of these issues for emergency physicians and for trauma care overall are discussed.
Given that many gunshots wounds are inflicted on the thorax, the fact that fewer people seem to be going into cardiothoracic surgery is also concerning.
The Future of Cardiothoracic Surgery… Dying Star or Supernova? • American Association for Thoracic Surgery
(crossposted on Facebook)