Little recognized is how fundamentally important the medical system is -- and not just the enemy's weaponry -- in determining weather or not someone dies. U.S. homicide rates, for example, have dropped in recent years to levels unseen since the min-1960s. Yet aggravated assaults, particularly with firearms, have more than tripled during that time period. A key mitigating factor appears to be the trauma care provided: more people maybe be getting shot, but doctors are saving even more of them. Mortality from gun assaults has fallen from 16 percent in 1964 to 5 percent today.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
I've been thinking about gun violence and the events of Monday and I am struck by the idea that the man who was shot four times didn't die...the ambitious member of my graduate program (health care administration) put together a book club which will begin meeting when school begins in September and for the first book we are reading Better by Atul Gawande...in one of the chapters he tackles the improved nature of military hospitals and also the incorrect notion that a lower murder rate means that we are safer: