GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi hospital treated more people with gunshot wounds during the first six months of this year than it did for each of the past three full years, its leader says.
Scott Christensen is CEO of Delta Health System, which operates Delta Health-The Medical Center in Greenville. He spoke to the Washington County Board of Supervisors on Monday and submitted a report showing how many people with gunshot wounds have been to the hospital in recent years, the Delta Democrat-Times reported.
The hospital said its emergency room saw 69 gunshot wound patients in 2018, 75 in 2019, 71 in 2020 and 76 from January through June of this year.
“For us, it’s a pretty big concern,” Christensen said. “This is only if they come to the ER, not if they die on scene or get transferred or anything like that.”
He said of the cases during the first half of 2021: “That’s essentially doubled. And if that trend continues, we’re going to have twice as many and get to 140 or 150 by the end of the year.”
Christensen said the average age of gunshot wound patients is 30.
“The financial cost to the hospital is $2.3 million in paying for these things,” he said. “So not only is it a moral and emotional toll, it’s also a financial toll.”
He asked the county supervisors for ideas about how to mitigate the problem of people shooting each other.
“I don’t quite know the answer,” Christensen said. “I’m kind of leaning on you all and your experience to see what we can do here.”
Supervisor Lee Gordon asked if Greenville city officials had seen the numbers and Christensen told supervisors they were the first to see them.
“It’s very concerning,” Gordon said.