EAST Firearm Injury Prevention Statement Released December 2018
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Firearm injury care and prevention are core components of our clinical practices at home and our organizational goals in the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST). In response to the unrelenting cadence of this preventable injury pattern and its associated media coverage, numerous major professional organizations have published position statements and proposed strategic initiatives to reduce the incidence of firearm injury.
In 1995, EAST published an organizational statement on firearm injury in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery - Violence in America: A Public Health Crisis--The Role of Firearms, February 1995 - Volume 38 - Issue 2 - p 163-168. Members of the EAST Violence Prevention Task Force, Chaired by Dr. C. William Schwab, assembled a Position Paper Committee led by Dr. Eric Frykberg. The Committee members examined the magnitude of firearm injury as a health problem, discussed the role of firearms in violence, assessed the cost of firearm injury, and acknowledged the argument against firearm regulation. Not every person will agree with every point of this 1995 statement, but we must acknowledge that is was written by our trauma provider peers based upon the dramatic increase in civilian firearm injury occurring at the time and available scientific evidence.
In 2018, based upon current scientific evidence and public policy, the EAST Firearm Injury Prevention Task Force chaired by Dr. Marie Crandall and the EAST Injury Control and Violence Prevention Committee chaired by Dr. Joseph Sakran drafted an updated EAST Firearm Injury Prevention Statement. The statement was approved by the EAST Board of Directors on September 26, 2018. The 2018 statement has been published ahead of print by the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.
Andrew C. Bernard, MD, FACS
2018 EAST President
The EAST Board of Directors recognizes the EAST Firearm Injury Prevention Task Force for their work on this statement.