Data on Gunshot Wounds Lacking

Aug 14, 2017

Nationally, more people between the ages of 15-24 are shot than any other age group. Dr. Denville Myrie, a trauma surgeon at Mercy Medical Center, says that’s true for the ER he works for in Des Moines. 

"These are young, healthy men," Myrie says. "They should not be dying. They are dying from basically stupidity; for no reason. There are so many guns on the street, and it seems like nobody cares what they can do about that." 

During this hour of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Myrie about the trends he’s seeing in one of the state’s busiest trauma centers.

Pastor Willie Campbell from Waterloo was shot with a hunting rifle when he was a child. He shares what it feels like to be shot, talk about the recovery process, and describe the reality of caring for a gunshot wound.

Dr. Patrick McGonagill, a clinical assistant professor of surgery at the University of Iowa and Corinne Peek-Asa, who has just published a study looking into who pays for gun violence, also join the conversation. 

Peek-Asa says that one notable thing they discuss in the study is the lack of information we have about gun violence.

"Assaults were more costly than suicides," Peek-Asa says. "When you look at weapons, they found that firearms injuries tracking is based on a code that allows different types of weapons to be identified. Most of them were coded as “we don’t know” what type of firearm was used. So, it’s problematic that we aren’t collecting this information. It really limits what we are able to learn from the data set."