Ochsner LSU Health develops anti-violence intervention program to help child victims of trauma

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) – The names of teenagers killed in Shreveport are still in the minds of many residents, as the constant shootings affect the victims’ families and community.

Dr. Navdip Samra, Program Director for the General Surgery Residential Program at Ochsner LSU Health, has treated many patients under the age of 15. Some of which he failed to save and can not forget.

“When a child enters and you are unable to save him, the thought immediately returns to your own child,” Dr. Samra explained.

He said that in many of these cases, the event was the beginning of a cycle that could bring survivors back to the emergency department.

“We see this and this is the key to identifying, again, why they are coming to the same behavior again. Injury prevention will be very key in dealing with these patients, “explained Dr. Samra. “It could be high-risk behavior, it could be gunshot wounds stabbed with a knife.

The latest data from the hospital reports that 28 children, all under the age of 15, were treated for gunshot wounds at Oschner LSU Health for one year.

Dr. Samra hopes to end the cycle of violence for trauma victims. Oschner LSU Health has developed the PROTECT program for trauma victims under the age of 18 who are being treated. The program offers resources such as foster care and networking with community partners to prevent children from returning to the cycle of violence.

Hospital officials note that more than 25% of patients with childhood injuries treated at Oschner LSU Health are there due to firearms incidents.

Dr. Samra also discussed how doctors and other staff cope with the initial shock of treating patients.

“There are some other people who just go numb. This is the scary part. They just don’t respond. That’s their defense mechanism, “he said.

The hospital has the resources to help doctors, staff and students cope with this trauma.

Shreveport City Councilor Jerry Bowman is often at the forefront of the fight against community violence. He said he was trying to explain what was happening to his own child.

“I have a six-year-old child in my house right now, when I was thinking about it. This usually happens when there is shooting at a small child. “I take it home and take it personally,” he said. “I can only sympathize with the families who do it, so I pray and pray again and again with other people. If you see something, go ahead and say it. ”

Medical experts say Oschner LSU’s healthcare has treated 470 people aged fifteen and older for one year of gunshot wounds. Just four days ago, 15-year-old Ja’tyon Dillard was shot and killed in Shreveport on Jewella and West 70th Street.

“I look at what I have at home, I look after the children of my neighbors, I look after the children of my colleagues. That’s where my mind and my mind go, the frustration grows more and more when I see something like this happen, again that’s why I take it personally. “I just couldn’t imagine having to be in the hospital or in an ambulance with mine,” Bowman said.

The shootings are not the only violent crimes the city is pursuing. Shreveport reports that there were 149 serious attacks, 98 cases of serious violence and 13 murders between January and March this year. This statistic is lower than last year.

Podcaster Calvin Hamilton grew up in Shreveport and witnessed street life.

“I remembered the days when I lived in Woodlawn Terrace and Republic Bel-Air, and my mother used to make us sleep on the floor because she was afraid of random bullets,” he recalls.

He said it was a life that many teenagers still believe are living now.

“I think if there is more influence in Shreveport than people who were like them, then I think it will give them more opportunities to slow down the violence and these children will have the opportunity to live after 17 years,” he said.

Councilor Bowman encourages citizens to feel more comfortable believing in the public safety system and seeking resources such as the ring cameras offered by the Kado Parish Commission.

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