Monthly Archives: July 2016

The Victims The Public Mostly Ignores

The clinicians who treat victims of violence must face their own traumas.  As the country’s health systems become better and more studied at treating mass casualties and gun violence, healthcare workers’ depression, anxiety, and suicidal tendencies go unaddressed.

The medical profession is strenuous in general — in Dr. Pamela Wible’s TEDMED talk in Nov 2015, she stated that one million Americans a year lose their physician to suicide, and that young residents are particularly vulnerable.  Those who work in emergency settings that see a lot of urban violence are in an even more precarious situation, mentally and physically.  The article alludes to nurses and doctors fearing gang members coming into the hospital for retaliation against targets under treatment.

The Doctor: ‘In my experience, Miami was worse than Afghanistan’
Ryder (Trauma Center, Miami, FL) has the distinguishment of being a military training site for combat trauma surgery.  Since 2011, the facility has treated 2,753 gunshot victims…550 a year…more than one every day.  Ryder  has 40% of its patients arrive by helicopter.
“The demographic stays pretty constant—mostly young men, mostly poor, often people of color without any way to pay for lifesaving surgery. Of those 2,753 victims, 45% were uninsured.”

 Since the expansion of Medicaid, old means of federal government funding for treatment of low-income people are going away.  Except that in Florida, Gov. Scott declined expansion, causing this facility alone to lose $15 million in support this fiscal year.   ModCon condemns the state’s decision: our taxpayers’ money will go to other states because theoretical principle was put before operational reality.

Meanwhile, the urgency of addressing both the funding for trauma hospitals, and the wellbeing of its human capital, must await a stronger case for action.

Source: Modern Healthcare, June 2016