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July 08, 2014
Loyola treats gun violence as a disease
14 killed, 82 injured during Fourth of July weekend in Chicago
MAYWOOD, Ill. (July 8, 2014) – Approximately 82 people in Chicago were reportedly injured and 14 died as a result of gun violence during the extended Fourth of July weekend.
“Those injured or killed are too young and too many,” said DeAndre Williams, MD, an emergency physician at Loyola University Health System who worked the holiday. “At Loyola, we are seeing multiple gunshot wounds now as automatic rifles are replacing single-shot weapons, which is an alarming trend."
Some of the violence occurred in Chicago’s Garfield Park, less than five miles from Maywood, where Loyola is located.
“Just as with any disease, violence requires awareness, education, prevention, treatment and support to be overcome,” said Mark Cichon, DO, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine of Loyola University Medical Center. “Gun violence is a complex, multifaceted public health problem and requires a complex, multifaceted public health strategy. Chicago is one of the largest urban centers in America, so everything here – the good and the bad – is magnified.” Cichon also serves on the board of directors of the Illinois College of Emergency Physicians and was recently honored by the state of Illinois for his contributions to improving pediatric health.
Loyola regularly works with community groups and hospital chaplains to diffuse gun and gang violence cases.
Alarming gun violence statistics
- The average hospital cost for a gunshot wound is $540,000.
- Handguns (rather than rifles or other types of guns) account for 80 percent of gun violence.
- More than 50 percent of shootings have involved alcohol, consumed either by the victim, the shooter or both.
- Of deaths from gunfire in the home, 50 percent of victims knew their shooter, with only 20 percent related to home invasions and only 1 percent ruled justifiable homicides, as in self-defense.
“Many of Loyola’s ED staff rarely see the fireworks with their friends and families because of high volumes during the Fourth of July holiday and, unfortunately, we often see the gunfire victims,” Cichon said. “The violence statistics are up this year as compared with last year, so I know that emergency departments will likely be busy next holiday.”
Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.