Hospital focuses on all aspects of shooting victim recovery - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Hospital focuses on all aspects of shooting victim recovery


The repeated sound of gun fire has turned the local emergency rooms into revolving doors.

The only level-one trauma unit in Southeast Georgia is at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah.

The head of the trauma unit has a year under his belt with Memorial. In that time, he's seen more gunshot wounds than he ever anticipated, especially coming from a hospital in Washington D.C.

"The most disheartening thing in this job, is to take a guy on the verge of death, and bring him back only to have him come back a year later with a similar type of injury. Then you feel like all you're doing is patching holes,” said Dr. James Dunne, MUMC Chief of Trauma & Surgical Critical Care.

To put a dent in the number of repeat victims of gunshots and eliminate scenes like these from around the city, Dr. Dunne said the hospital participates in the Violence Intervention Project.

"This situation really provides a teachable moment for that individual. And if they're going to make changes in their life, very rarely was it the person walking to the grocery store that got shot,” said Dr. Dunne.

The Violence Intervention Project seeks to reach the victim, often young adults, on multiple levels which include anything from counseling to help getting a job.

"They usually put themselves in a bad situation, and either got involved with some bad people or a bad situation, and we're trying to get those people out of that situation and put them on a path to success,” said Dr. Dunne.

Dunne said the trauma unit has seen a 10 to 15 percent increase of patients each year.
However, when looking at the data, he said the number of gunshot victims doesn't vary much from years past.

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