Studying What Went Right And Wrong In Orlando May Improve Medical Responses
Many communities are ill-prepared to respond to a mass shooting -- and looking at how law enforcement, hospitals and responders handled the massacre in Orlando could provide lessons for the next traumatic incident. Meanwhile, a study finds that 1 in 5 traumatic deaths could be prevented, experts continue to be frustrated by the lack of research on gun violence and KQED looks at internalized homophobia's role in mental health problems.
The New York Times:
How Can Communities Prepare For Mass Shootings? Orlando Offers Lessons
As doctors treated the horrific injuries of victims shot in the Pulse nightclub massacre here, a mistaken report of a gunman nearby forced officials to briefly lock down the emergency room; the medical staff shoved heavy X-ray machines against the doors, creating a makeshift barricade in a treatment bay. Emergency room physicians ran low on tubes needed to reinflate the lungs of patients shot in the chest. The doctors scrambled to make sense of gunshot wounds because paramedics had rushed victims in with no time to assess their conditions. The hospital’s emergency preparedness manager, asleep at home, received an urgent email but did not respond until awakened by text. (Stolberg and Grady, 6/19)
The Associated Press:
Up To 1 In 5 Trauma Deaths Could Be Prevented, Study Says
Up to 1 in 5 people may be dying unnecessarily from car crashes, gunshots or other injuries, a stark conclusion from government advisers who say where you live shouldn’t determine if you survive. The findings take on new urgency amid the increasing threat of mass casualties like the massacre in Orlando. The Orlando shooting happened just blocks from a major trauma care hospital, an accident of geography that undoubtedly saved lives. But Friday’s call to action found that swaths of the country don’t have fast access to top care, and it urges establishing a national system that puts the military’s battlefield expertise to work at home. (Neergaard, 6/18)
Kaiser Health News:
Study Promotes Battlefields’ Lessons To Advance National Trauma Care
Tens of thousands of American lives could be saved each year with a concerted national effort to emulate what top military and civilian trauma centers are doing, a prestigious panel of top medical experts reported Friday. “It is time for a national goal owned by the nation’s leaders: zero preventable deaths after injury,” said a committee from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in an ambitious report released six days after the nation’s worst mass shooting took place in Orlando, Florida, ending 49 lives and injuring 53. Citing the U.S. Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment’s performance in Afghanistan and Iraq, the report praised the special operations force for its successes in treating combat casualties under difficult conditions while virtually eliminating preventable deaths. (Bluth, 6/17)
Could Funding Gun Violence Research Help Reduce Mass Shootings?
Lost in the emotional debate about public safety and Second Amendment rights is evidence-based data to inform policy. The American Medical Association, the nation's largest doctors society, this week acknowledged gun violence as a public health issue and pledged it would lobby Congress to lift a 20-year ban on federally funded research on gun violence. (Johnson, 6/18)
Orlando Shooting Raises Questions About Internalized Homophobia And Violence
This is not a diagnostic of Omar Mateen. The motivations of the shooter who killed 49 people at a gay club in Orlando are complex and unclear. ... The homophobic nature of the attack is clear. But whether Mateen was expressing some form of internalized homophobia about his own sexual attractions is not. Leaving Mateen aside, researchers have found that homophobia is more pronounced in individuals with an unacknowledged attraction to the same sex, particularly people who grew up with controlling, authoritarian parents who made clear that such desires were unacceptable. (Dembosky, 6/17)