Sep 15, 2021
TIME: On top of the pandemic, hospitals face another crisis
David Gourlay, MD
, a pediatric surgeon and medical director of trauma at Children’s Wisconsin, was interviewed for a sobering TIME
magazine story on the record number of kids and teens being injured by guns across the United States. Sadly, we’ve been seeing the exact same thing right here in Milwaukee
Across the U.S., more children and teens are being caught in the cross fire — a byproduct of gun violence that has been exacerbated by the pandemic, according to activists and pediatric emergency-room physicians. Since 2020, children’s hospitals have been dealing with a record surge in shooting patients, with many on track to eclipse their previous totals.
Some experts attribute the rise in violence to pandemic-related school closures and unemployment. Strains in emotional and mental health have led to poor conflict resolution, and with millions of children at home, there is easier access to firearms, according to Dr. Regan Williams, the trauma medical director at Le Bonheur.
“There’s no reprieve,” says Dr. David Gourlay, the trauma medical director at Children’s Wisconsin, which last year had 79 patients with firearm injuries — double the number in 2019. Six of them died, marking the Milwaukee hospital’s highest death toll from shootings in a year. Many more never made it to the hospital alive.
There’s been a shooting patient almost every day this summer, Gourlay says. That’s far from ordinary for a pediatric clinic more accustomed to broken bones and flu cases.
Read the full story in TIME magazine.