As National Wrestle With Gun Issues, Local ER Docs Deal with Gun Wounds

As the nation struggles with the debate over assault weapons and school security, those who work in emergency room explain the damage they see on a regular basis, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Dr. Lilian Liao, Chief of Pediatric Trauma at San Antonio's University Health System, says they see gunshot victims on a regular basis.  Luckily, she says few are shot with an assault style weapon.  But for those that they do so, the damage is amazing.  

She says, people shot with 9mm pistol often suffer one injury, and most survive.

"A higher velocity weapon will cause multiple areas where the tissue is destroyed and cannot be put back together," she explains.

Amazingly, she says bone is dense, and can stop a bullet when it enters the body.

"In the slower velocity weapons, once it hits the bone, it will stop.  That bullet won’t keep travelling.  But in the higher velocity weapons, it will go past bone without any problem."

She says, when someone is hit by a bullet fired from something like an AK-47, the bone shatters, and often cannot be repaired.  Same with the organs and muscles.

The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was a bad flashback for Dr. Liao.  About four months ago, she operated on several of the children that were shot in Sutherland Springs, Texas, at the First Baptist Church. That massacre was carried out with an AR-15 rifle.  It's the same firearm used during the Parkland, Florida school shooting.


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