Each week, the McGill University Health Center (MUHC) trauma team is required to treat at least one patient with a firearm injury. On Wednesday, doctors and other health professionals came out on the streets to join their colleagues in 13 hospitals across Canada to say loud and clear they have had enough.
According to the Doctors for Protection from Guns coalition, firearms are a serious public health problem in this country.
Trauma surgeons, department heads, nurses and MUHC preventionists held a press conference calling for a complete ban on handguns and assault rifles in Canada. A message relayed from one ocean to another.
“Since 2013, there has been a 42% increase in firearm injury mortality in Canada. In Montreal, there is an increase in the number of patients injured or killed by firearms. It’s time to change the way we talk about guns. It’s a public health issue and it has to be said, “said trauma surgeon Jeremy Grushka.
“When we look at how we manage this issue from a public health perspective, I think we could do better,” says trauma department head Tarek Razek.
Canada does not believe that Canada has gone far enough to apply best security practices to minimize the risks that firearms pose to society.
“From a public health point of view, it’s like cars. Are there any car accidents? Yes. But are we minimizing the risk of having accidents? “, He compares.
An activist in the Poly group recalls, Jean-François Larrivee praised the support of doctors in this fight to restrict access to weapons. He lost his young wife in the massacre at Polytechnique Montreal in 1989.
“I’ve been campaigning for 30 years to remember Maryse and the other girls. Doctors have a voice that carries. They are pragmatic, they have intellectual influence, they have leadership, “he says.
“I want to help other women not to suffer the same drama and if we can save a life it will have been worthwhile,” says Larrivée.
How to treat an injury
MUHC caregivers are exasperated to the point where the prevention team is beginning to teach the public first aid techniques for gunshot wounds.
Tara Grenier, coordinator of the MUHC Injury Prevention Program, shares with high school students, plant workers and the general public ways to stop the bleeding from a bullet or stab.
“These are war techniques used in the civilian world. We are here. Maybe we can save people instead of dying after their blood, “says the sports therapist.
Ottawa is listening
D Dr. Tarek Razek sincerely hope that his voice and those of her colleagues heard. According to him, the fact that they are on the front line to see the devastation caused by weapons gives weight to their arguments.
On Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair said he was listening to the doctors’ demands.
“I have met several times with groups of doctors. Their point of view is relevant, they are at the forefront of dealing with victims of gun injuries. I believe that there are things that must be done to protect our communities and we are ready to consider measures that would prevent ill-intentioned people from obtaining weapons to injure or kill, “he said. .
The minister, however, does not intend to speed up the process, as New Zealand’s elected officials did following the killings in Christchurch.
“I think Canadians expect us to listen to the different voices of the public to find the best way to make our communities safer,” said Blair.