U of L Trauma surgeons crucial to survival of gunshot victims
Whether it's a minor injury or life-threatening, most victims are rushed to University of Louisville Hospital and treated by trauma surgeons in the emergency room.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- They have touched the lives of hundreds of gunshot victims in Metro Louisville.
Every year, there are several hundred victims of gun violence in the city.
And whether it's a minor injury or life-threatening, most victims are rushed to University of Louisville Hospital and treated by trauma surgeons in the emergency room.
"Where are they shot, that often times determines what level of care they might need once they get here," University of Louisville Trauma Surgeon said Dr. Keith Miller.
Miller is one of several University of Louisville trauma surgeons who respond to shootings.
"Lately it has been busy," he said. "Busier than we'd like it to be."
But instead of responding to the scene, Miller responds to the emergency room.
"There's a room called 'Room 9' in our emergency room -- which is a resuscitation bay," Miller said.
At most shooting scenes, police are usually looking for who did it, when, where and why. Miller says in room 9, none of that matters.
"A lot of the stuff, as far as the history as to how they ended up with the injury and that stuff is usually irrelevant in the early period; it's just a matter of getting them taken care of as quickly as possible."
"We'll get a little bit of history from the people who brought them in," said Dr. Brian Harbrecht, Medical Director of Trauma Services at U of L Hospital.
Harbrecht agrees that it has been a busy year.
"The number of shooting victims that we have dealt with at the hospital has been increasing, probably for the last several years," Harbrecht said.
According to LMPD, as of June 10th, there have been 137 shootings in Metro Louisville this year. That's why the trauma team takes a lot of pride in what they do.
Miller added: "It is extremely gratifying to know that you played some small part in them getting out of the hospital."
But Miller said there's something even better than that: "The best kind of days are the days where you don't have to save anybody's life."
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