UofL trauma surgeon speaks out about national impact of gun violence
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - What Dr. Jason Smith did on Tuesday was something that is not taught in medical school.
In front of the national media, the UofL Health trauma surgeon and Chief Medical Officer delivered some straight talk about Louisville’s deadly violence, and he encourages others to follow his lead.
“If we don’t start speaking out about what we’re seeing,” Smith said Wednesday. “There’s no other way to let the public know what is happening within these trauma centers in emergency departments across this country.”
Dr. Jason Smith spoke Tuesday during a press conference, describing the burden that comes from 15 years of witnessing death and grief as a trauma surgeon in Louisville.
”I am more than tired. I am weary,” Smith said Tuesday. “There’s only so many times you can walk into a room and tell someone they are not coming home tomorrow. And it just breaks your heart. When you hear someone screaming mommy, or daddy, it just becomes too hard day in and day out to be able to do that.”
Sharing the podium with police and politicians, it was an unscripted moment, an unflinching personal view of Louisville’s unflattering problem of gun violence shattering lives.
”It’s not unflattering to tell the truth,” Smith said, “because this truth is happening at every single city around this country every single day.”
Smith said he had heard from colleagues across the country supporting his comments about a national crisis that appears to have no end in sight.
”It is simply getting to the point where this is becoming untenable with the healthcare system, and the amount of resources, and the people that are being affected by this,” Smith said. “So, it’s not Louisville. It’s everywhere right now.”
Smith encouraged the public to give blood in the wake of Monday’s mass shooting.
Red Cross officials described the response as “tremendous.”
“Right now,” Amber Youngblood, spokesperson for American Red Cross Kentucky Region said, “the best way people can help is to make an appointment to donate blood in the days and weeks ahead by calling 800-RED-CROSS or visiting RedCrossBlood.org.”
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