Doctors and nurses work to save lives as Baltimore's murder rate climbs

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - As the murder rate in Baltimore City continues to climb, doctors and nurses at Maryland's Shock Trauma Center are trying to save lives.

"You can never predict in advance when it's going to be quiet," said Dr. Andrew Pollak, Chief of Orthopaedics at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 306 people have been murdered this year, and more than 570 people have been shot.

"We see anywhere from 20 to 40 patients in the course of a day," Pollak said.

Pollak says those numbers don't include all shooting and stabbing victims.

"Interpersonal violence from beating, stabbing, gunshot wounds is a piece of what we do here and it's not the entirety of what we see here," Pollak said.

Shock Trauma admits 8,000 patients annually. Doctors are able to save 96 percent of them.

"The emotional challenge of caring for victims of trauma patient is significant," Pollak said.

Out of about 7,600 patient admissions, only 18 percent of injuries related to violence are treated at Shock Trauma, compared to 37 percent of victims treated for motor vehicle crashes.

"There's a certain type of provider who learns to manage through that emotion while caring for the patient. People who do care but are able to manage and recognize whatever emotional trauma we go through is nothing compared to what the victim is going through and the family is going through," he said.

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