COLUMBUS (WCMH) — As the number of violent crimes in Columbus continues to rise, doctors have treated a historically high number of gunshot patients.
“In the history I’ve been here, and in the history of our trauma center, we’ve never seen more gunshot wound patients than we have this year,” said Dr. Urmil Pandya, the trauma medical director at Grant Medical Center.
According to Pandya, he and his team have treated more than 500 gunshot patients in the past 12 months, which is a 74 percent increase from the year prior to the pandemic. A quarter of those patients treated for gunshot wounds are 20 years old or younger.
Pandya said the increase in patients because of gunshots is adding to the strain on hospital resources.
“Patients who come with gunshot wounds are more likely to need ICU services,” he said. “They’re more likely to need surgery. They are five to 10 times more likely to require more blood product usage. These are all things that we essentially have a shortage of during this pandemic.”
On Friday, Columbus Assistant Police Chief LaShanna Potts discussed the impact of the city’s violence on medical professionals.
“Grant Hospital is one of the best hospitals in the country, but I can tell you those surgeons are tired,” she said. “They’re tired of having families come in there and have to tell their mothers, daughters, fathers, sons that their loved one is no longer with us.”
Pandya responded to Potts’s comments.
“Yes, we’re tired,” he said. “We’re always ready to continue to do what needs to be done, but it’s been an unprecedented 19 or so months between a pandemic and the numbers of victims of violence that we’ve never seen before.”
To date, Columbus police said there have been more than 1,100 felonious assaults and 156 homicides in the city for 2021.