UAMC gunshot study helping more patients survive - Tucson News Now

UAMC gunshot study helping more patients survive

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A disheartening statistic states that nine out of ten people with gunshot wounds to the brain will die. 

There are trauma surgeons at the University of Arizona who have been using an aggressive approach to help those patients.  This new more aggressive approach has increased the survival rate to five out of ten patients with gunshots to the brain.

Since 2008, Dr. Peter Rhee, the head of UAMC Trauma and his team have seen the survival of these victims increase each year.  UAMC has a large team on standby that specializes in these types of trauma patients.

The approach this team takes includes a full body assessment, checking the brain functions, putting the patient to sleep and using highly salted water to pull swelling from the brain.  Dr. Rhee stated that they are very aggressive in controlling the body's functions. 

There were about 132 patients involved in the study, which included Tucson Police Sergeant Robert Carpenter and former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. 

According to Dr. Rhee the study has been considered controversial to some degree, stating that they have brought back several patients that are fully functional, but some are not quite the same.

In 2013 alone the surgery department at UAMC published more than a dozen articles on traumatic brain injuries.

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