BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT)– According to UAB, the number of gunshot wound victims they’ve treated, have doubled in 4 years.
According to data, UAB treated 484 firearm assaults last year, compared to 253 in 2012. Just about 86 percent of the victims are black males. Gun violence is a nationwide issue, but UAB is hoping that getting these numbers out, will stir up a conversation about what an epidemic this is becoming.
“We are now seeing about 500 gunshot wound victims every year and that’s just the ones that make it to us” says Dr. Jeff Kerby, Director of the UAB Division of Acute Care Surgery. “We have also seen an 8- percent increase in the homicide rate in the community, so we’ve got a growing issue of gun violence in the Birmingham community”.
There’s a spike in firearm homicides when people reach their 20’s and then it slowly tappers off from there. Thanks to military training, UAB has been able to increase their survival rate to 95%.
“We’ve learned better how to resuscitate patients that have major blood loss. Implementing a lot of those military practices here at UAB has increased that number of patients that make it out alive” says Dr. Kerby.