COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — The string of violent crimes happening in Columbus is not only taking a toll on those investigating them, it’s also greatly impacting area hospitals. Surgeons in Columbus say the number of trauma victims admitted, are among the most they've ever seen.
“So, it's a huge increase, and it's really something we’ve never seen before, said Dr. Urmil Pandya, Trauma Medical Director at Grant Medical Center. “We’ve seen about 70-74 percent increase in our gunshot wound number of patients, this past 12 months, compared to what we were seeing in the pre-pandemic level.”
The spike in gunfire is leading to more and more trauma victims, needing serious medical help.
Pandya says the number of gunshot wounds victims Grant Medical Center is admitting, is the most it has seen in its history.
“As a level one trauma center, we tend to see a majority of the gun violence and gunshot wound victims here. Being a downtown hospital, we’ve never seen more that we have in recent months,” said Pandya.
Pandya says trauma patients rely on a lot of resources, including blood supply and ICU beds, which are already limited because of the pandemic.
“A gunshot wound victim is more likely require ICU care. They’re more likely to require surgery. They utilize 5-10 times the amount of blood products that maybe a non-gunshot wound trauma would use. So, with all of this and the fact that we have very few beds and our nursing shortage and shortage of supplies, this certainly puts an added strain,” said Pandya.
"We gotta have the community's involvement. We know it's a very small number of folks that are committing these violent crimes. And if the community steps forward, shares information with the police, we can get these folks off the street so that doctors, surgeons, healthcare providers can take care of neighbors,” said Mayor Andrew Ginther.
Many are hoping crime numbers will go down, but if it continues, some patients may take priority over others.
“There can be a point in time where things will get missed and patients may not be able to be seen. And we don’t know what that looks like because we’ve never dealt with that,” said Pandya. “Every time we talk about a gunshot wound and the amount of blood and the operating room it might take up, it’s also that much less that’s going to be available for people with heart conditions and strokes or other illnesses.”