Clinicians working in the emergency department can play an active role in counseling patients about the safe storage of firearms, which could help reduce the number of gun-related injuries and deaths, according to experts here at the American College of Emergency Physicians 2016 Scientific Assembly.
Emergency physicians might not “prevent every mass shooting, and we’re not going to prevent every suicide or every homicide, but we can make a dent” in these occurrences, said Megan Ranney, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
“Two-thirds of firearm deaths are suicide, and the vast majority of those are preventable,” Dr Ranney told Medscape Medical News.
Emergency room clinicians are well placed to counsel patients and their families about safe gun storage, said session codiscussant Marian Betz, MD, from the University of Colorado Denver.
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