Hurley Medical Center talks treating uptick in Flint violence, increase in trauma cases

The hospital’s top doc shares their efforts to help victims of gun violence
Published: May. 4, 2021 at 5:34 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (5/4/2021) Flint Police reports responding to 73 shootings in the City, so far this year. That’s more than double the number this time last year.

73 families impacted, cases the Flint Police Department is investigating and patients Hurley Medical Center is treating.

Over the last several weeks, ABC12 has shared interviews with the victim’s families and the police chief about the impact of this uptick in gun violence.

Now, the mid-Michigan hospital’s Chief Medical Officer shares their work to save those patients.

“It’s been a stressful time for the last year and a couple of months for sure. We’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel a bit for the COVID side, but the trauma piece is a little problematic,” said Dr. Michael Jaggi, the Chief Medical Officer for Hurley Medical Center in Flint.

He also runs the Emergency Department.

Gunshot victims are expected in Flint; but he said, the number of them recently hasn’t been

“Typically the seasonality of it allows us to kind of settle down in the winter months in early spring and then we all kind of get geared up for it in the summer,” Dr. Jaggi explained. “This last year just seems to have picked up quite a bit.”

When someone is shot in Flint, or really anywhere from Mount Pleasant to the Thumb, they’re treated at Hurley because the hospital is what’s called a level one trauma center.

Dr. Jaggi said as they’re paged someone is on their way in an ambulance, multiple departments are put on notice.

“Therapists to the lab to the surgeons, of course, respiratory therapy, nursing -- everybody’s notified,” he said. “And we’re given time. So it’s either three minutes, five minutes, could be an hour if it’s a transport. So everybody’s ready to go once the patient gets here.”

And he said, they can get that patient from the door into the operating room within 6 to 7 minutes

What complicates their response is when the gunshot victim is dropped off by someone in a personal vehicle. That’s been happening more frequently in Flint.

“We have no idea what to prepare for,” Dr. Jaggi shared.

But, he explained that as part of their accreditation, the proper trauma response teams are always in house.

“Whether you’re working in Chicago or Detroit, Flint has the same problems,” Dr Jaggi said. “We have one of the highest rates of penetrating trauma in the state, it’s like number one or two.”

As one can imagine, that weighs on the healthcare teams over and over. Dr. Jaggi shared counseling and other services are available to staff. .

Hurley’s trauma team also has a strong relationship with local police agencies too. They’re often in the hospital keeping an eye on a patient or conducting their investigation.

When ABC12 shares a victim’s condition, that comes straight from the doctors treating the patient.

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