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ACS Trauma Surgeons Discuss Public Health Approach to Firearm Violence on CBS News

In the wake of two mass shootings on August 3–4 in El Paso, TX, and Dayton, OH, American College of Surgeons (ACS) trauma surgeons and other physicians shared their thoughts with CBS News in a segment on how a public health approach can reduce firearm injury, death, and disability in the U.S.

Among the surgeons featured is Ronald M. Stewart, MD, FACS, Medical Director, ACS Trauma Programs. “The only thing worse than a death is a death that can be prevented,” Dr. Stewart said. “And to go and talk to the mom of a child who was normal at breakfast and now is not here is the worst possible thing. And honestly, it drives us to address this problem,” Dr. Stewart told CBS News.

The segment featured a panel of seven surgeons and physicians working with the American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine (AFFIRM). In addition to Dr. Stewart, the panel included Stephanie Bonne, MD, FACS, who serves on the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT). The panel spoke with CBS medical correspondent John Lapook, MD. “I think people think that if their loved one gets to the hospital, that there's magic there. But sometimes it's just too much for us,” Dr. Bonne told Dr. Lapook, adding, “I know that the house of medicine can fix this.”

Dr. Lapook and the panelists discussed the historic Medical Summit on Firearm Injury Prevention that the ACS COT hosted in Chicago, IL, earlier this year. As a result of the Summit, more than 45 professional medical and injury prevention organizations and the American Bar Association have reached agreement on nine consensus recommendations on how to reduce unnecessary death and suffering. COT Chair Eileen Bulger, MD, FACS, and colleagues conclude, “Coming together as a professional community and approaching this epidemic as a disease and a public health problem promises to make our neighborhoods and our country safer, stronger, and more resilient. We believe this can be done in a manner which preserves (or even enhances) freedom. This professional approach requires freedom with responsibility.”

Read the full issue of NewsScope.