July 18, 2016
A bold new study of the treatment of gunshot victims will be conducted right here in Philadelphia and is expected to last five years, encompassing all Philadelphia inhabitants who do not opt out. The study will randomize gunshot victims to receive or not receive standard paramedic treatment of intubation and I.V. fluids, investigating whether such interventions actually have a positive or negative effect on patient outcomes. The ethics of such a study are obviously complex, as victims will not be given the opportunity for informed consent, but its structure has been approved by both the FDA and the city of Philadelphia. Currently, there is a gun shot victim admitted to Philadelphia emergency rooms every 7 hours, and 1 in 5 of these victims does not survive. Those conducting this study hope to shed light on how to improve these survival outcomes in the future.