Medical Chief of Staff Says Increased Shootings/Stabbings Put Strain on Hospital Resources

Medical Chief of Staff, Dr. Cameron Wilkinson told that as simple as some may think it is, when trauma victims are taken to the JNF, staff attached to various departments within that medical institution, has to be summoned.

“The increase in the number of trauma cases that we see at the hospital does put significant stress and strain on the entire system because when one is shot, we have to call out the operating team, we generally need lots of blood for these persons especially the ones who are seriously injured and bleeding. Not only would the operating team have to come out, there is the Laboratory Services team and the X-ray Department. So almost the entire hospital system is activated and so if we have one, two or three of these occurring on a weekend, then that is multiplied by three.”

Over the past weekend, three shooting incidents – which resulted in four being injured – occurred in St. Kitts within 24 hours and Dr. Wilkinson indicated that this was one such occasion when the hospital’s resources were strained.

The Medical Chief of Staff further explained that the hospital runs on limited resources and notwithstanding that these individuals would have been summoned to work during cases of emergency, they are still expected to report for work whenever that time comes around.

“We have to understand too that we are working with limited resources, limited staff. So it’s the same persons who have to come back the next day for a regular day’s work. It’s the same persons who are called out if there is an emergency caesarean section, same persons who are called out if there somebody with acute appendicitis and so for the conditions that are preventable, meaning the shooting and stabbings etc, we would be happy if we see a significant decrease in those cases.”

The doctor explained his proposed solution to the problem.

“I believe that there is some underlying gang violence that is involved in this and we really need to find out what is the real reason behind it. I don’t think there is any justifiable reason at all, but I believe the time had come for us to really meet with these persons and I believe that anyone who is involved in crime fighting at any level and anyone who is involved in the health system where you look after these persons, you get a fair idea as to who they are or where they come from because it tends to be a recurring theme coming from certain areas. And so I believe we really need to find these persons and sit down and speak to them and find out what is happening and how we can help them solve their difference. Because they are trying to solve their differences using the gun or the knife and more recently, they have been using the gun more so than anything else.”

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